SUMMARY: Under an ordinance just approved by the King County Council, King County Executive Dow Constantine will by May, 2011 prepare for council review and approval a plan identifying his proposed top five proposed new county government services to be provided online. These may come from the executive or legislative branches of county government, or the county court system. A staff report accompanying the memo states that many more services could be provided online by the county, and more efficiently in that manner.
BACKGROUND: One of the officially adopted priorities of the King County Council is to make government more accessible and transparent, and deliver services more efficiently. The King County Council on 12/13/10 passed an ordinance introduced by Council Member Kathy Lambert directing the King County Executive (Dow Constantine) to by May 2, 2011 prepare a plan identifying his proposed top five priorities for county government services to be delivered electronically. In addition to already providing several customer service functions online, the county has also created an open data site which makes county data sets available to software developers to potentially fashion new applications for use by the general public.
KEY LINK: King County e-Government Initiative, Staff Report 12/7/10
- The Executive will identify and formulate a strategy for implementing the five most important services King County could provide the public through electronic means – this is primarily but not exclusively referring to the Internet. The plan will describe benefits, costs and milestones to provide the five services electronically, and be sent by 5/2/11 to the County Council for review, possible amendments, and approval.
- Around the U.S. and in other nations, digital government is gaining strong traction. There are four main types of digital government services: government to citizens/residents; government to business; government to government; government to employees. Under the ordinance’s language, the more immediate emphasis is to be on the first two areas.
- “King County has implemented a few e-government services, notably the payment of property taxes, certain permit processing services, the capacity for individuals to plan transit trips and the ability of individuals to find out if a person is incarcerated. However, many more County services could be more efficiently delivered to the public through the Internet and other electronic means. The subject motion provides an opportunity to pursue this path more robustly and strategically.”
- “The Executive is requested to consider services in all branches of government so that the five services could end up being services offered by the courts, by the executive branch and by the legislative branch. This will of course require the cooperation of separately elected officials, but there has been an interest expressed by a number of these officials in the past regarding the electronic delivery of services.”