Corrie's continuing efforts and success in doing this resulted in the development of an integrated, self-service strategy and solution that not only allows CalPERS customers to do business with the organization online, but also has eliminated much of the back-office workload associated with those transactions.
-- Blake Harris, contributing editor
New York State
Not many CIOs were bus drivers prior to entering public service, but for three years, New York state CIO James Dillon piloted a Greyhound bus in New England, driving in harsh winter conditions. Perhaps that gave him the steady nerves to direct IT policies and operations for the state with the second largest IT budget in the nation.
Prior to Dillon's appointment by Gov. George Pataki in January 2002, agency fiefdoms abounded when it came to IT. That was good for individual programs, but bad for enterprise planning and strategic initiatives. That's no longer the case.
Dillon used his 20-plus years of government experience to bring cohesion and unity to the state's technology and telecommunications programs by setting standards and imposing tough requirements on vendors to deliver quality solutions.
Perhaps Dillon's biggest mark on IT in New York is his effort to leverage collaboration to get things done in tight fiscal times. He created the CIO Council as a formal organization for public-sector IT executives in the state to meet and work on shared interests and issues. He brought local government CIOs and IT directors to the table as well.
Dillon's outreach effort for more interagency and intergovernmental collaboration is part of a carefully planned initiative. Shortly after becoming CIO, Dillon told Government Technology, "I want to ensure that good ideas at the state level don't adversely impact local governments as they try and do their job. We have to ensure that we look at local government as a customer because we believe they are an important customer."
In two short years as New York's first CIO, Dillon has shown he has what it takes to lead.
--Tod Newcombe, editor, Public CIO
In recent years, Phoenix has emerged as a leading example of good, caring management and service.
Since City Manager Frank Fairbanks was appointed in 1990, both he and the city have garnered recognition and honors. The city appeared on CIO magazine's CIO-100 list in 2001 and 2002, even before the planned city Web portal had the host of transaction services it now offers businesses and citizens. The city placed 4th in the Center for Digital Government's Best of the Web competition for 2003.
American City & County magazine selected Fairbanks as the "1994 Municipal Leader" of the year. Also during Fairbanks' tenure, Phoenix won an international competition to be named "Best Run City in the World" by the Bertelsmann Foundation in Germany.
The city portal initiative grew from a citywide task force Fairbanks appointed. "If government is going to have the respect of the community -- which is at least as important to government as it is to businesses -- government needs to demonstrate to the public that we are as responsive, effective, and in today's world, as fast as the private sector," he said. "That is a great challenge because as a result of technology and the Internet, the private sector is speeding up all the time."
Fairbanks maintains that people in government must see themselves in competition with the private sector -- not to earn a dollar, but to gain the public's loyalty and support.
"The success of any organization lies in its people," he added. "We've had great success in using technology. For that I must credit our people working in the