April 16, 2002 By Government Technology
"Meeting citizens' expectations in the areas of privacy and security, while ensuring the continuity of operations under any circumstances. The need to protect the individual privacy of our citizens must be recognized and at the same time balanced against the need to provide the proper information to organizations, law enforcement and government charged with protecting citizens. Recent events demonstrate that our technology infrastructure is a national asset and, consequently, has become a target to affect our economy, financial operations and everyday life. Today more than ever, our citizens have a high expectation that we will deploy secure information technology systems on time, on budget and in response to business needs."
Executive Director, National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics
Cooper heads the non-profit organization that is dedicated to improving the criminal justice system through the application of information and identification technology. SEARCH's primary objective is to identify and help solve information management problems experienced by state, local and federal governments.
Technology challenge: "The events of September 11 have filled 2002 with challenges associated with preventing terrorist activity. This not only includes identifying and tracking terrorists but eliminating others from consideration of being a terrorist. In an attempt to address this, initiatives calling for the use of smart cards and biometrics and the creation of watch lists, [as well as] tracking systems are replete in proposals before Congress and federal executive branch agencies. How the criminal justice component of "digital government" responds to those initiatives is certainly one of the biggest challenges for 2002."
Director, North Carolina Division of Information Resource Management
As the director of the Division of Information Resource Management within the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Cox is responsible for business and client record-keeping needs. Cox's division also provides technical services to the department and assures access to records for more than 14,000 local computer workstations across the state.
Technology challenge: "There are at least three concerns that I have in moving to e-government. Two are infrastructure related. (1) The government agencies that are responsible for the delivery of the e-services have limited resources and skill sets, and (2) The infrastructure at the local level limits the ability of citizens to participate. The last concern is the ability to identify users and secure private/confidential information of the citizens."
Best known for improving the Chicago Public Schools, Daley also has developed innovative programs to improve city neighborhoods, reduce crime through community policing, remove illegal guns from the streets, build new libraries, beautify the city and attract high-technology industry.
Technology challenge: "The biggest challenge for digital government will be making sure it delivers direct and tangible benefits to everyone. We in government have to look at things from the citizen's perspective, rather than government's own internal perspective. In difficult economic times, it is more important than ever that government delivers measurable results for its constituents in the form of better and more accessible services and greater efficiency and openness. Digital government also can be used to spur economic development. We also have to be careful that certain groups -- the poor, the elderly, the disabled, the non-English speaking -- don't get left behind as we rush to permeate the government with technology."
Hon. Hunt Downer
State Representative, Louisiana
Rep. Hunt Downer became a catalyst for digital democracy when he put the state assembly online in 1997. It was Downer's vision that led to the historic assembly chambers being retrofit to implement new technology and bring all 105 members into the Information Age. Downer has become increasingly involved in national security issues and IT implementations.
Technology challenge: "Once digital government is in place, it faces the
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