The current U.S. economic crisis and resulting huge government bailout programs provide an unprecedented opportunity to test information technology solutions for government transparency.
Government officials at federal, state and local levels will suddenly find their programs funded beyond their normal run rates, and will face pressure to spend money quickly to achieve policy goals.
Information technology can help the bailouts succeed in several ways:
1. Federal, state, and local governments need to bridge their information systems so the flow of funding and its ultimate disposition can be tracked.
2. Business intelligence capability is essential to track the metrics of success and show how the results justify the outlays.
3. Portals are needed for government to communicate with constituents, not just for sharing information but for two-way collaboration. Already Virginia is asking businesses and individuals to propose plans online.
4. Integration with mapping software can provide powerful visualization capabilities to help people assimilate the vast data inherent in these programs.
Most of the products and technologies are already in place. The key challenge is to mobilize the people who can quickly implement solutions to make the urgency of the economic problem and the aspirations of the new administration to deliver a quick fix.