need it.

An Assessment Tool

I. VISION & LEADERSHIP

A. Does top management understand the information economy and its implications to their stakeholders?

B. Is there a well-articulated future vision of the jurisdiction/organization and the buy-in of a critical mass of senior executives?

C. Is there a CIO who is a member of the management team and has an eye for the future?

D. Is there a progressive entrepreneurial culture with different parts of government willing to collaborate on critical issues?

E. Is there a mechanism for the governance of cross-organizational issues, including information technology?

II. PLANNING & IMPLEMENTATION

A. Is there a plan for: a) developing government and community telecommunications and information infrastructure and b) strengthening the information sector of the economy? Is there stakeholder buy-in for the development of the plan?

B. Is there an individual(s) vested with authority and responsibility to implement the plan?

C. Is there adequate investment to support the plan?

D. Is there a community/taxpayer buy-in of the plan?

E. Is there an information technology team to implement its part of the plan and the vision?

F. Are information and technology issues regular items on the management team agenda?

III. TELECOMMUNICATION INFRASTRUCTURE

A. Is there a coherent and shared network being built that links all government units with businesses and citizens?

B. Is dedicated Internet access available to all workers and management and fully integrated in the business environment?

C. Is there an intranet and a plan to use it for internal process flow?

D. Is there a strategy for easy access, low cost, high-bandwidth and ubiquitous telecommunications availability in the future (for government and citizens)?

E. Is "mobile computing" being discussed or planned?

IV. POLICY FRAMEWORK

A. Has there been a review and modification of existing laws and regulations to remove any anti-technology bias (i.e., digital signatures, recording methods, etc.)?

B. Is the tax structure technology and economy friendly?

C. Is there a legal framework to support the information-driven economy?

D. Is there a plan to streamline the process of creating new business enterprises?

V. EMPHASIS ON EDUCATION

A. Is the K-12 educational curriculum being revised to integrate technology education (not the same as having the Internet in the classroom)?

B. Are teachers being trained to use computers as teaching tools?z

C. Are there programs for continuing education in computer technology for adults?

D. Is government staff becoming proficient in the use of applications and computer tools?

E. Do your constituents have easy access, or is there a plan for easy access, to higher education?

VI. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES

A. Is there a plan or strategy for migrating small businesses towards electronic commerce?

B. Is there a plan to use information technology to develop regional business networks (for areas of current economic strength)?

C. Is there a plan to use networking technology to seek global markets for existing products and services?

D. Are there pilot programs or demonstration projects being planned or implemented to develop a new economic base for the community in areas such as telework, distance learning, telemedicine, virtual communities, multimedia, etc.?

E. Is the government procurement process being redesigned to support electronic commerce, thus helping business achieve a global economy point of view?

F. Is there consideration for using public/private partnerships to bring private-sector skills and funding to help accelerate the rate of technological progress?

G. Are there efforts under way to bring about regional collaboration for economic development strategies?

H. Are elected officials and senior management global in their outlook?

P.K. Agarwal is chief information officer for the California Franchise Tax Board. He is a past president of NASIRE and currently co-chairs the NASIRE/ITAA task force on electronic commerce. He speaks on the subjects of the Internet, electronic commerce and the emerging information-driven global economy. Editorial assistance for this article was provided by his assistant, Patricia Campbell.

July Table of Contents