Wednesday, November 26, 2008

eGovernment best practice from Utah's CIO

Ari Herzog has begun a series on social media best practice in his blog, AriWriter.

Kicking it off is a fascinating interview with Utah's Chief Information Officer, David Fletcher, providing an insight into how Utah has implemented its online strategy, taking it to win the Best of the Web award for US state governments twice (so far), in 2003 and 2007.

Drawing a few highlights from David's piece...

The state has over 830 services online, was an early adopter of blogging by public servants, services such as Twitter (as covered by USA Today) and online chat (24x7) and the use of video online via Youtube. Do I need to also mention they use wikis?

For many of these initiatives Utah is leveraging free online technologies rather than reinventing the wheel and spending large amounts of public funds. And Utah isn't keeping the performance of Utah.gov a secret - they publish their analytics online.

In August this year the state instituted a 4-day work week for public servants, based on Utah's ability to provide so many services on a 24x7 basis online.

Amazingly, although the state only has 2.6 million residents, the Utah state portal receives over 1.1 million unique visits per month. That's a much higher rate of citizen online participation with government than we see in Australia (for example Australia.gov.au reportedly gets around half this number of visitors (not even unique visitors) for 8x as large a population).

The state has also cut down the time for businesses to register at local, state and federal levels - cutting what could be a several week process down to 30 minutes.

A number of their services have over an 80% adoption rate - which I take to mean that under 20 percent of registrations come via other channels.

And if you want to learn more about the state of Utah's online presence, you can visit David's blog or find him on Twitter at @dfletcher - he's truly walking the talk!

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