Oklahoma eGov News
How do Americans View Open Government Data?
The Pew Research Center recently released a report that explores Americans’ views of open government data. The findings come from a survey of 3,212 members of the Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel. Data collection is a core government function. The government collects data on demographics, economic change, climate activity, and many other areas relevant to public policy. There is a growing effort to make government activities more transparent by encouraging the release of more government-collected data to the public. Many Americans hope that increased data transparency will aid journalists, make officials more accountable, and improve decision making. Few think that government at the local, state, and federal levels are doing a great job of providing useful data.
How Government Shrinks Itself—By Investing In Technology
Techies in Silicon Valley often tell me that if they do their job right, it should cease to exist. The goal of a lot of technology is to reduce the amount of human labor necessary to get something done. A new study finds that this Silicon Valley maxim holds also true for the government—in a big way.
Min-Soek Pang of Temple University found that for every dollar governments invested in technology, spending decreased by $3.50. “I was surprised with the magnitude of the impact,” said Pang. No joke. 3x is a huge number for any carefully controlled study.
Between 2000 and 2008, Pang analyzed government spending and the portion dedicated to information technology. After controlling for population, debt, grants and other institutions that tend to bloat government, there was a clear relationship between states that invested in tech and lower-than-expected public expenditures.
Mobile App, Responsive Site or a Little of Both?
In Sacramento County, Calif., E-government Chief Kristin Echols calls mobility inevitable. In January 2012, only 3 percent of traffic to the county portal was via a mobile device. In January 2014, that number had jumped to 13 percent and by July of that year it had risen to 20 percent. Clearly the populace wants mobile access to county information.
Echols is wrestling with the same question as others in government circles. How can they use technology to make information more readily available to the public? Should civic entities build downloadable apps for smartphones and tablets, or use responsive design to create mobile-friendly websites?
Her short answer is responsive design, with 85 percent of the county’s sites already converted to this mobile-friendly infra-structure and more under construction. But this hardly resolves the debate. Sacramento County also has downloadable apps to deliver polling place data, 311 functions, food facility inspections and crime reports.
It’s a fairly typical scenario. Following the initial excitement surrounding downloadable apps, city, county and state governments are pulling back. They are turning more often to improved tools for responsive design, while still adding some native app functionality. They also are implementing hybrid constructions as a compromise, structures that allow for more mobile access while reducing the risks that come with smartphone apps.
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OK.gov is the official website of the state of Oklahoma and a collaborative effort between the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) and Oklahoma Interactive, LLC to help Oklahoma government entities Web-enable their information services. OMES is responsible for OK.gov. Oklahoma Interactive operates, maintains, and markets OK.gov and is part of eGovernment firm NIC’s (NASDAQ: EGOV) family of companies.