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Government Information Technology Issues -- The practitioner perspective

As discussed above, the value of public sector IT research is reflected in the degree to which it meets the needs of practitioners and the effectiveness of the transfer of research to practice. Following is a preliminary attempt at summarizing and categorizing the issues that government practitioners are attempting to address. The issues discussed below were derived from a number of sources. A search of recent conference and meeting agendas of practitioner organizations (government management or policy associations, public administration organizations, government information technology managers) was conducted and the IT-related issues were identified. CTG's project proposal database describing management and service delivery problems that New York State governments sought to address through innovative uses of IT was also examined. The database contains references for all of the project proposals that have been submitted to CTG by New York state and local government agencies since 1993. Approximately 40 project proposals or descriptions are in the database.

The list of issues identified below is not intended to be comprehensive. Rather, it is intended to provide a framework for further development and analysis and to give examples of the IT-related issues that are of current importance to government. Where specific issues for each of the categories have been identified, they are listed in the beginning of each section. In some cases, only general issues within the categories have been identified thus far. The following sources were used in the initial identification of examples of IT issues from the practitioner perspective:
  • National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) -National Association of Legislative Information Technology - Professional Development Seminar agenda (1997) and NCSL Communications and Information Policy Committee 1997 Annual Meeting agenda
  • National Association of State Information Resource Executives (NASIRE) 1997 Annual Conference agenda
  • American Public Welfare Association (APWA) Information Systems Management (ISM) 1997 Conference agenda
  • CIO Magazine (July 1997)
  • New York State Forum for Information Resource Management (Strategic Planning meeting)
  • New York State Institute on Mental Health Management Information (1997)
  • CTG Project Proposals (1993-1996)
From the above sources, information technology issues or issues that have related information technology, management, or policy components were identified and placed in the following categories:
  • Programmatic Issues
    • Economic Development & Commerce
    • Education
    • Health & Human Services
    • Environment & Natural Resources
    • Public Safety
  • Public Management Issues
  • Inter-program/Inter-governmental/Cross-program Communication Issues
  • Technology-Specific Issues
    • Electronic Commerce
    • Internet
    • Expert Systems
    • Document Management System/Imaging
    • Geographic Information Systems
    • Data Warehouses, data marts, data mining