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ICMA: e-government improves communication and customer service.

Nearly 70 percent of local governments report improved communication with the public as a result of their e-government initiatives, and 56 percent cite improved customer service, according to the results of a comprehensive survey of cities and counties conducted by the International City/County Management Association.

More than 3,400 cities and counties responded to the survey, which covered e-government services (current and future), financing, and management; online procurement; geographic information systems; and use of intranets. Other key findings from the survey include:

* The vast majority of local governments (more than 99 percent) have Internet connectivity.

* All reporting jurisdictions with a population of 250,000 or more have a Web site.

* Almost 60 percent of respondents provide downloadable forms, online communication with elected and appointed officials, employment information and applications, and codes and ordinances on the local government Web site; nearly 76 percent post council agendas and minutes.

* Less than 30 percent of respondents accept online requests for local government records or services (such as pothole repair), provide GIS/mapping data, or send electronic newsletters to residents and businesses, but more than half of those respondents plan to provide these services in the future.

* The most frequently cited barriers to e-government initiatives are lack of financial resources (64 percent) and lack of technology staff (63 percent).

Aggregate results of the survey are available on ICMA's Web site at The complete survey results, downloadable for analysis, are available at
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Title Annotation:International City/County Management Association
Publication:Government Finance Review
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2005
Previous Article:Electronic payments exceed check payments for the first time.
Next Article:State revenue pressures ease, but expenditure concerns remain.

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