Devolution of federal programs brought America's local

governments additional responsibilities. Welfare reform, telecommunications reform and other measures have focused attention on cities, counties and towns as never before. In addition, the Internet has increased the demand by citizens for better access and faster service.

If local governments are to continue as the most trusted level of government, they may need some assistance, some new tools and some rethinking of long-entrenched methods to manage the heavy lifting.

Following are products that may be of assistance to local governments as they confront the challenges of a new era.

Justice is Served

The Wyoming County and Prosecuting Attorney's Association is using JustWare as its case-management software in 23 county and state prosecution agencies. JustWare was developed by New Dawn Technologies Inc. in conjunction with the association, with funding provided by the Violence Against Women Act.

Besides tracking domestic-violence cases and victim/witness notification, JustWare tracks all pertinent name and case information associated with individuals who are being criminally prosecuted or defended. Complex legal documents can automatically be prepared, printed, tracked and organized from within JustWare, which also includes a report writer to accommodate the custom reporting and statistical information that may be specialized to each agency.

JustWare is used throughout the state, and some offices are using the product over a wide area network. Other agencies are scheduled for installation within the next several months.

According to Tom Higtins, president of New Dawn Technologies, the product is targeted for both small and large local governments. "We use both Microsoft SQL server as well as Microsoft Access. Access will address the very small offices and SQL server can scale up to bigger agencies such as Denver-size and New York-size agencies."

The software requires a 32-bit Windows operating system (NT or 95/98). It costs about $1,800 per client license.

Additional information is available by contacting New Dawn Technologies Inc. at 877/587-8927.

A Waste of Planning

SWPlan is a software program for the modeling and analysis of solid-waste management scenarios in metropolitan and urban areas. It allows users to design an integrated solid-waste management system, evaluate an existing system, prepare or compare vendor proposals, determine where waste should be best allocated and simulate a variety of management scenarios.

SWPlan handles the entire solid-waste flow from generator to final disposition in an intuitive format, which can address waste reduction, recycling (19 commodities), yard-waste composting, etc. It also will determine capital and operating costs, debit service and transportation costs, and consider revenues from, recyclable, electric and steam sales.

According to Susan Hardy of Scientific Software Group, "SWPlan is targeted for small- to medium-size agencies. It's very easy to use and can be deployed in minutes."

It requires a Windows operating system and costs about $475 per license.

Additional information is available by contacting Scientific Software Group, at 703/620-9214.

Digital Procurement

Web Buyer is an integrated, business-to-business electronic-purchasing application that gives any enterprise the capability to buy goods and services electronically. The program allows users to electronically solicit, receive and evaluate competitive bids and place orders with thousands of suppliers. The application manages all the translation and transport of information between the buyer and seller and supports all forms of electronic transport.

It provides centralized management of a distributed procurement process and streamlines the workflow of a buying organization by linking requestors, approvers, buyers and sellers.

Web Buyer formats and transmits procurement data throughout the supply chain via any electronic medium. It also interfaces with established legacy applications as an enhanced, functional extension of those existing systems to improve and refine related work processes. As a result, the Web Buyer system enables procurement data with disparate systems and facilitates business-to-business electronic communication.