results in Georgia. He established a governance structure for enterprise management of IT and a new kind of leadership model that helped political and appointed leaders recognize how technology and program delivery within individual agencies is interwoven.

He also helped develop a technology architecture that helps agencies focus on technology applications while showing how that architecture makes technology more reliable and available. More significant results included what Singer called a "revolutionary turnaround" in Georgia's networking -- complete modernization of the state's data center and "a state portal that was second to none in terms of technical capability and leveraging interoperability between systems to create virtual integration between agencies."

Resigning after his boss lost the 2002 gubernatorial election, Singer currently works on different projects but remains committed to serving the public sector. Tough budget times have made technology -- especially e-government -- seem expendable in the eyes of some budget-cutting politicians. But they should take the opposite viewpoint, Singer said. "Investment in technology is more important, not less, right now. In reality, there is no such thing as e-government. It's all about government. Technology is woven into it."

-- Tod Newcombe, Features Editor

Elaine Marshall

Secretary of State

North Carolina

North Carolina's secretary of state said if she had the right answer for accomplishing things during budget crises, she would be secretary of the world.

Rather than just thinking about what that right answer is, however, Elaine Marshall makes what she's already got stretch. "We take what resources we have and reuse software so we don't only use it for one application," she said. "We're using reusable parts of our software right and left."

Marshall, who has been in office since 1997, implemented a database infrastructure called the Knowledge Base System, which four other governments -- Missouri, Kentucky, Mississippi and the Virgin Islands -- also use. The system provides a standard way for citizens to do business with the Secretary of State's Office. It features a comprehensive document management component with imaging and other e-government services for research, such as Uniform Commercial Code records and a corporations database. New to the system is the ordering of Certificates of Existence, which shows companies are bona fide and comply with minimum state requirements.

Within the next 60 days, Chief Technology Deputy Bruce Garner said the department will roll out the ability for limited liability companies and other corporate entities to file annual reports online.

Now Marshall faces the challenge of implementing critical online applications, such as credit card transactions, which require legislative changes.

"We literally have the capacity to do online filing of a variety of things, but our laws need to be brought up to date to make them more contemporary with the type of business environment we're in," she said.

Of her accomplishments, Marshall said she is most proud of serving the people -- wherever they are, whoever they are -- and hearing how the services help.

"It's quite gratifying to be out in public and people come up to me and say, 'I really appreciate what you're doing; you've made my job so much easier by your Web site,' or, 'I can do it at 10 o'clock at night.' It is really satisfying to serve the public 24 by 7 by 365."

-- Jessica Jones, Managing Editor

Larry Knafo

Deputy Commissioner, strategic technology development

Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications

New York City

New York City almost lost the man who rebuilt the city's command and control center following 9-11 -- Larry Knafo left city government prior to the terrorist attacks for a job in the private sector. Fortunately for New Yorkers, Knafo found working for a company