e-Government succeeds in Pennsylvania
Over the past eight years, online customer service and innovation has saved American taxpayers in the state of Pennsylvania more than US$882 million, and brought state government more than 750 innovations to improve customer service.
Speaking about the state's e-government initiative, formerly known as PRIME, Pennsylvania's Governor Mark Schweiker commented, "Government leaders throughout the nation are looking to this initiative as a model for government change."
Launched in February 1996, the PRIME initiative aimed to create a customer-centred and globally competitive commonwealth, making local government administration savings that would help increase funding for education, economic development and crime prevention.
Successes Some of the state's most successful initiatives have included:
- License PA: Professionals in Pennsylvania can renew their licenses online. Previously, a renewal application had to be obtained through the mail or downloaded from a website, completed, and mailed back.
- Police Pursuit Reporting: Previously, local police departments had to receive and then submit police pursuit data on paper forms to the State Police. Now, using web-based technology, local police departments can go online, complete the form, and submit it electronically.
- CN PEARS: This Department of Education initiative is a web-based system allowing 1,700 sponsors of 7 federally funded child nutrition programmes to submit annual applications, monthly claims for reimbursement (and other forms) to the department.
As an interesting environmental side effect - quite apart from the huge taxpayer savings - an estimated total of 1.2 tons of paper have been saved each year through such electronic filing initiatives.