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NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
Thu, 26 Jul 2012
Contact: Alison Heaphy
(518) 442-4598

UAlbany’s Center for Technology in Government Collaborates with SAP on Open Government Thought Leadership Program

     
The Center for Technology in Government (CTG) at the University at Albany/SUNY today announced, in cooperation with SAP, the world’s leading provider of business software solutions, an open government thought leadership program. The program has both research and practical components and will produce new conceptual and analytical tools for helping government decision makers better understand the ways opening government can improve informational relationships among government, citizens, and non-government stakeholders.

“Government’s ability to develop appropriate policies and practices to make the best use of information lags behind the rapidly increasing power of information technologies,” said Theresa Pardo, director of CTG. “This project will contribute to the development of better research, consulting, and government practice models to address the policy, technology, and management challenges in our increasingly computational and data-intensive world.”

“A great real-world example of this in action is the case of New York City restaurant inspections,” said Natalie Helbig, senior program associate at CTG. “In 1999 the City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunication (DOITT) was tasked with creating a website to provide restaurant inspection reports directly to consumers. In doing so over the past decade, the information relationships between government, restaurant inspectors, the restaurant operators, citizens and mobile app developers, changed in complex ways that have led to greater openness, transparency, and accuracy of information.”

Group Discussion
Participants at a two-day workshop in Albany, NY discussed CTG's new approach to helping government decision-makers translate Open Government, Open Data, and Big Data opportunities into public value.
The NYC restaurant inspection was used as a case study in CTG’s draft white paper, Modeling the Informational Relationships between Government and Society. An international group of 25 thought leaders and experts from academia, government, and the private sector convened at CTG in Albany, NY for a two-day workshop in June to discuss the paper and CTG’s conceptual opening government model. During the workshop, the participants:
  • Discussed the major gaps in both research and government practice that are hindering researchers, governments, IT industry, and non-government actors from taking full advantage of ICTs and government data.
  • Helped to refine CTG’s recent work to develop new conceptual and analytical tools for helping government decision-makers better understand the ways opening government can shift the informational relationships among government, citizens, and other non-government stakeholders in new and innovative ways to deliver value to each and to society.
  • Contributed to CTG’s ongoing goal to create new multi-discipline and multi-sector networks capable of working on open government and other data-intensive research and practice initiatives.
“Rather than anticipating the needs of society, this project can help governments create an adaptive information policy that supports all citizens, stakeholders, and government agencies to liberate data for use in innovative ways and support their needs,” said workshop participant Dr. Marie Anne Macadar, associate professor at the School of Business at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. "I believe CTG’s approach can be applied to governments in Brazil, which like most governments around the world need practical tools to help guide decision makers in developing the technical and data resources and access mechanisms that can improve governance and performance in sustainable ways."

The CTG research team will analyze the feedback and other data collected during the workshop and use the results to develop the next version of the project’s white paper. The draft version of the paper that CTG disseminated to participants prior to the workshop can be found at: http://www.ctg.albany.edu/publications/reports/og_workshop_whitepaper.

The white paper presents a new way for government policy makers, executives, and managers to view the broad context and complex information relationships in which opening government initiatives unfold. The framework will provide a way to analyze the information relationships based on stakeholder interests.

“SAP has heard from our worldwide government client base that they need a framework devoted specifically to understanding and supporting open-government initiatives,” said Russ LeFevre, vice president, Industry Marketing, SAP. “Concurrent with global corporate governance trends in the past years, government is looking for ways to be more accountable, transparent and to show public value to their constituents. As the leading software provider for the public sector, SAP has the experience helping federal, provincial, state and local governments run more efficiently and effectively. Our focus now is to help government look outward and use SAP’s innovative technologies to take advantage of the tremendous potential of government data and other open government strategies by providing new ways of planning, designing and implementing new information-intensive activities."

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The mission of the Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany is to foster public sector innovation, enhance capability, generate public value, and support good governance. We carry out this mission through applied research, knowledge sharing, and collaboration at the intersection of policy, management, and technology. For more information visit www.ctg.albany.edu.

The University at Albany-SUNY has a broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, life-enhancing research and scholarship, and a commitment to public service. A University at Albany education brings the world within reach to students through nine schools and colleges, and an honors college. A student body of more than 17,000 students has a global connection to more than 140,000 alumni. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit www.albany.edu. For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit www.albany.edu/news/experts.htm.

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