As any CIO knows, e-government is a fast-moving target -- changing from year to year and sometimes from month to month. Two years ago, the IBM Endowment for the Business of Government published E-Government 2001 as "an attempt to chronicle the early days of e-government," according to Mark A. Abramson and Therese L. Morin. Now these editors have published an updated snapshot on the situation with E-Government 2003.

The first publication attempted to look at what was happening in e-government at the federal, state and local levels three years ago; this book brings us up to date in terms of progress, action, and most importantly, the challenges facing e-government today.

Part One, written by Abramson and Morin, presents a progress report that evaluates the status of Web sites at the three levels of government, assesses the deployment of e-government so far and presents an overview of major hurdles.

The next three sections take these topics and drill down into the details. Section Two examines the state of federal Web sites, looks at how state governments are enhancing e-service delivery and assesses the intranet's role at the federal level.

Section Three focuses on e-government in action, with a detailed chapter on how the U.S. State Department has leveraged technology for diplomacy; a probing look at the issues, practices and trends affecting e-procurement at the state level; and an examination of Internet voting.

The most provocative chapters are in Section Four, which spells out the major challenges the public sector faces today in regards to deployment, operation and e-government expansion. Some research published in this edition covers financing and pricing, security, and the inevitable impact of mobile and wireless technology on applications and service delivery.

Contributors include Ai-Mei Chang, Robert S. Done, Barry Fulton, Diana Burley Gant, Jon P. Gant, Don Heiman, Craig L. Johnson, P.K. Kannan, Julianne G. Mahler, M. Jae Moon, Priscilla M. Regan and Genie N. L. Stowers.

So what's next? Plans are already under way for E-Government 2005.

While we await those findings, E-Government 2003, provides CIOs and government executives with a balanced and well researched look at how the public sector is embracing technology and service delivery today.

Tod Newcombe  |  Senior Editor

With more than 20 years of experience covering state and local government, Tod previously was the editor of Public CIO, e.Republic’s award-winning publication for information technology executives in the public sector. He is now a senior editor for Government Technology and a columnist at Governing magazine.