Michigan's commitment to building e-government initiatives has propelled the state to the top of the 2004 Digital States Survey.
"Michigan has been very dedicated in this area," said Cathilea Robinett, executive director/executive vice president of The Center for Digital Government and the Center for Digital Education. "The former governor put a lot of these initiatives in place and the current governor has kept up the pace."
The study, started in 1997, was designed to identify leadership roles while examining best practices, policies and progress made by state governments in their use of digital technologies to better serve their citizens and streamline operations.
Sponsored by Hewlett Packard, Intuit, Microsoft, and Symantec, the 2004 survey examined over 60 measurements in four broad areas – service delivery, architecture and infrastructure, collaboration, and leadership.
Robinett explained that the exact measurements for the survey have been improved upon year to year but have remained similar. The chief difference comes in the emphasis on technological efficiency over content.
"The 2004 criteria is a new instrument. It is more difficult and gives more weight to the back-end systems," said Robinett. "The criteria is now harder so states that make it into the top 10 are superior."
Even with the changes to the measurement system, most of the high-ranking states in 2002 remained in the top 10, with a couple of notable exceptions. Wisconsin dropped from #5 in 2002 to #25 in 2004, while Connecticut – #10 in 2002 – fell off the new list completely.
"Connecticut has historically done well in the survey," Robinett noted. "However, the long-standing CIO has just resigned and that might have affected the completion of the questionnaire," said Robinett, referring to Gregg Regan, Connecticut's first chief information officer who held the position since 1997. Regan will be leaving on August 1 as part of a sweep of officials that served under former governor John Rowland, who resigned amid controversy and threats of impeachment.
Robinett cites Virginia as an e-government success story, outlining the state's rise from below #25 in 2001 to #6 in 2002, and finally, #3 in 2004. "Governor Warner makes technology a priority for the administration," she said.
Governments that embrace technology can propel up the list, and Robinett lists Arkansas and Colorado as additional examples.
|Top Digital States|
|Source: The Center for Digital Government|
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