to one way of getting it done that there might be some cost savings, that's a psychological barrier. Part of it is just finding the psychology of people brave enough to step forward and say, "This is our one shot to do it."
There are a lot of partnerships out there, and innovative tech thinkers who want cities to do more than what we're doing. So I don't find the financial barriers -- at least to pilot things -- very difficult.
One of the toughest technology challenges as a city government is that we don't have a centralized CIO who's responsible across all departments.
Creating a centralized CIO will require city leadership -- the Council and the mayor -- saying, "This is what we want." It's very difficult because there is, understandably, a lot of distrust from city departments. They know exactly what they need and want. Technology has to start with the person, and I think each department feels like they know their people better than anybody else. But if we think about the citizens we represent needing one technological interface, and wanting that to be more standardized, then we'll get our act together to serve them.
What's the concept behind the city's E-Day?
Garcetti: E-Day was inspired by an initiative in Denmark. The government saved 60 million euros by encouraging everyone to work paperlessly for one day. Every department had the right to refuse paper correspondence from any other department -- to insist that it came in electronic form.
We haven't gotten quite to that second step, but last April we pushed for everyone to spend a day being as electronic as possible. All City Council reports now are available to the public online. This is important for two reasons: One, it's a lot less paper being used; and two, those reports are accessible to anyone, anywhere. It empowers local citizens. It hopefully inspires people around the world who are looking at policy initiatives.
We're looking at making E-Day a tradition, and then building on that platform to see how we can become more electronic. So the "e" stands for both electronic and ecological.
How do term limits for city officials impact technology projects?
Garcetti: It's tougher under term limits, because the institutional memory isn't there. On the other hand, term limits brought in a whole new crop of people who are technologically interested and, I think, more technologically savvy.
Technology changes fast enough that if you can't get it done in eight years -- which is what we're allowed -- it's a brand new technology anyway. In the last two years, we started a blog that helps us communicate with our employees. Ask us four years ago what a blog was, and we wouldn't have known. Now we're looking at things like podcasts of City Council meetings. Ask us two years ago what a podcast was, and none of us would have known.
We're maybe a little less knowledgeable about what's going on inside each department, but I hope that naivet