April 16, 2002 By Steve Towns
"What we're coming up with is we'll have to let individual jurisdictions decide how they want to play," Lambard said. "That's going to be a strength of this program. We're not going to tell them, we're going to ask them."
Eventually, applications like the calendar would be just one facet of a broad array of related information and services held together by a national parks and recreation channel. "If you had enough people in the channel and enough interest, you could have multiple applications being worked on simultaneously by different subsets of folks in that channel," said Lambard. "They would be different parts of the same puzzle, and the channel would be a central entryway into those applications."
"At a certain point when you talk about infrastructure to provide cross-agency and cross-governmental action, that requires co-mingling of funds," he said. "Until we have that type of legislative authority, that could be a barrier."
Clark said the Office of Intergovernmental Solutions intends to raise awareness of the issue among lawmakers at all levels of government in the hope of lessening the procedural obstacles. But existing appropriations challenges don't rule out development of shared applications, Clark added, noting that both the Internet and the Global Positioning System began as government-funded initiatives.
For now, Lambard said he's satisfied with gradually adding features to the calendar application and increasing the number of jurisdictions that are participating in the project.
"We're not sure how big this will grow," he said. "Our Division of Parks and Forestry is going to be using it, and we'll do our best to get every county involved. And I think we have a good commitment from the [U.S.] Interior Department."
In addition, he's working with Virginia officials to incorporate their state and county park information into the application.
Virginia's Dillehay expects momentum for the project to grow from the bottom up. "A state doesn't have to participate in order for a locality to participate," she said.
"By identifying a channel, you allow anyone to participate by linking services to that channel. It's creating a framework for people to work together to develop this repository."
Clark intends to facilitate that process by making the Government Without Boundaries Web site
"Our goal is to set some guidelines or lessons learned on how to truly do intergovernmental projects," he said. "We want to come up with something that is repeatable and scalable to other areas that are going to be a lot more difficult."
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