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Moving Toward A Digital Federal Government Robert Atkinson Progressive Policy Institute.

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Presentation on theme: "Moving Toward A Digital Federal Government Robert Atkinson Progressive Policy Institute."— Presentation transcript:

1 Moving Toward A Digital Federal Government Robert Atkinson Progressive Policy Institute

2 DG: Driving Government Reinvention and the Digitization of the Economy I have in general no very exalted opinion of the virtue of paper government (Edmund Burke) Perhaps more than any other area, it will be the use of technology in public and quasi-public areas (government, health care, and education) that will determine national competitiveness in the content- centric age. (David Moschella, Waves of Power)

3 Government Goes Digital. Business and community leaders lobbied heavily for appropriations, especially at the federal level, and then worked with federal, district and state officials to digitize the delivery of government services. An ever-increasing amount of government information is being put online. Much of this work is contracted to systems integration firms in the region, generating significant revenue into the regional economy, with the flow expected to continue until 2010. Over the Net, citizens can now process permits, file their taxes, seek out specialized information, and reach out more effectively to local, state and federal lawmakers, agencies and other voters. Polls indicate that Americans, having directly benefited from these actions, are less cynical about government than they were in the late 1990s. (from Mario Marino: 2005: Digital Capital of the New Economy presented at Potomac Conference XII.

4 Why is Digital Government Important? 1) Reduces Cost 2) Improves Quality 3) Spurs Ubiquitous Adoption of Digital Technologies

5 Reduces Cost Paper Check processing - $1.10 Mailing IRS tax forms - $3.50 Error rate in tax filing -- 16% Online 2 cents 0.06 %

6 Improves Quality - Online, Not In Line Consumers expect anytime, anywhere, on-my- schedule service. Citizens will expect the same performance from government. One study of on-line professional licenses found that the vast majority of participants preferred this channel.

7 Spur Ubiquitous Adoption of Digital Technologies Unless telephone-like ubiquity can be reached, large scale societal transformation will prove impossible. (David Moschella, Waves of Power) Were not there yet.

8 More Households On The Net

9 E-Commerce Takes Off

10 The Bandwidth Buildout

11 Governments can play a key role in speeding the transition to a digital economy by encouraging the uses of digital technologies, including the Internet and smart cards.

12 A Digital Economy Will Spur Productivity and Income Growth

13 What Can Be Done? Business transactions (e.g., social security payroll tax filing; ITDN; collection of statistics; regulatory forms) Consumer transactions (e.g., student loans; national park reservations; purchase e-stamps; Veterans benefits) E- payments (e.g., social insurance payments, grants, purchases) Accessible data bases (e.g., patent records, BLM land records, GIS)

14 Smart cards Expert system information networks (e.g., health information systems) On-line content (training, education, etc.)

15 Where Are We Today? Early Stages have focused on automating the back office and providing one-way information dissemination to citizens and businesses. Current Stage: automating the relationship between government and citizens –National Performance Review and Access America –Agency CIOs and the CIO Council –Innovation Fund –Government Paperwork Elimination Act –Many Active Projects to Move Forward

16 Government Lags Behind the Digital Revolution

17 What Are the Barriers? Technology is not the barrier. Nor are issues of authentication, privacy and security issues. Cultural, institutional, and political factors are the major barriers to faster progress toward digital government.

18 Barriers II 1) DG requires shift from bureaucratic government to customer-oriented government. 2) DG requires shift from stove-pipe organized government to cross-cutting government. 3) DG requires the leadership for it to shift from IT staff to elected officials and agency heads.

19 Barriers III 4) DG requires that it not be viewed as a technical issue, but as a strategic, reinventing government issue. (English, not acronyms: GITS; FACNET; EBT; ACES; EFT; GWAC; FARA) 5) DG requires investments now, in in order to save money in the future. 6) DG requires bipartisan support.

20 Principles for Transforming Bureaucratic Government into Digital Government 1) Think customer, not government agency. 2) Focus on digital transactions between citizens and government. 3) Make government applications interoperable with commercial ones, especially the Net.

21 Principles II 4) Pass the savings from digital government back directly to citizens. 5) Use Digital Government to boost network effects 6) Invest money now to save money tomorrow. 7) Dont punish failure. Reward risk taking.

22 Principles III 8) Drive it from the top– Congress, the White House and top agency administrators. 9) Use carrots and sticks to motivate agency action. 10) Just Do It!

23 PPIs Technology, Innovation, and the New Economy Project A Resource for Decision Makers Grappling With Complex Issues of Governance in the New Economy Technological and economic changes are not ends in themselves, but are tools we must harness to progressive goals: higher living standards for all Americans, greater dignity and freedom for workers, more choices for consumers, and a wider citizen participation in civic and public life.

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