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eGovernment on the Web

Is your government on the Internet?

Is it meeting your expectations?

In her paper on electronic government, Jane E. Fountain writes:

“In its most simple form, e-government refers to the availability of government information and some
public services over the Internet.

A well developed local government web portal illustrates the current state-of-the-art of electronic government and electronic civics in large municipalities. The City of Indianapolis and Marion County website ( provides extensive government information online including the city and county budgets, election information, and city and county ordinances. The portal allows users to search for and pay parking tickets online; report abandoned vehicles, trash pickup problems, pot holes, sewer problems and other complaints online; file taxes; calculate child support; research permits; and access zoning and other maps.

The geographic information systems (GIS) applications available on the website supply several maps including the location of bus routes, family centers, fire stations, police districts, recycling sites, sports facilities, and polling places. The City of Indianapolis and Marion County interactive portal affords access to civil and criminal court records, permits, police and sheriff reports, and property information including parcel and owner histories. To promote and enhance community and civic engagement, the website enables online access to volunteer opportunities in Central Indiana through a service called VolunteerMatch Indianapolis!, a partnership of the United Way of Central Indiana and the City of Indianapolis.”1


Begin by conducting a survey of your class.

How many students use the school district's administrative or main site?

How many use your school's site?

How many students have visited your local government's website?

Chart your findings.


Establish expectations

What do you expect to be available in your school's site?

What information or services would you like to be available in your school's site?


Make a checklist of your expectations for your school/district's website.

Evaluate your school's website. Does it meet your expectations?

Based on your checklist, grade your school's site.

Identify one thing that should be added.

What level of priority should be given to developing your school's site as an information source for students,
parents and the community? Why?


Does your Student Council have a website?

Should it?

Make a list of information or services you expect to be available on their website.

If it does have a website, does it meet your expectations or needs?

How could it be used to reach more students in the school?

What level of priority should be given to developing your student council's site as an information source for students?


Examine another level of government's portal.

What information and/or services do you expect to be provided?

Go to the site and evaluate it.

In what ways does it meet your expectations?


Look around

Compare your local government with another one in your state.
Which one does a better job of serving the citizen's needs?



What action(s) can a citizen take to seek creation or modification of their government's website?


" The legislature hereby finds that a free society is maintained when government is responsive and responsible to the public, and when the public is aware of governmental actions. The more open a government is with its citizenry, the greater the understanding and participation of the public in government." Legislative declaration., Freedom of Information Law, New York State, USA.

1 - Fountain, Jane E., "Electronic Government and Electronic Civics", John F. Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University, December 2002.

Constitution Essays Privacy at school Sunshine in government Running for Public Office - how to Civics & History
Web site accessibility evaluation Right to Know Elections and Terms in Office Government Data Mining Programs The Right to Privacy

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posted 12/2007 In the spirit of Thomas Paine - released to public domain by Cynthia J. O'Hora

tree icon Save a tree - use a Digital Answer Format - Highlight the text. Copy it. Paste it in a word processing document. Save the document in your folder. Answer on the word processing document in a contrasting color (not yellow) or font (avoid blackmore, brodfont dear or other ornate artistic fonts). Enter your name and the date in the document header. Save frequently as you work. Submit your assignment via an electronic drop box or an email attachment. Save a copy of your assignment on your computer. Or perhaps you have the resources to record verbal answers. If you do, be sure to first read / record the question. Then record the answer immediately after it. Make your own answer sheet

Carefully proof your responses. It is funny how speling errors and typeos sneak in to the bets worck. smiling icon