Arizona Ranks First On Use Of Digital Technologies
Arizona is the first place winner of the fifth annual Digital State Survey conducted by The Progress & Freedom Foundation and the Center for Digital Government. The states rounding out the top five in the 2002 survey are Michigan, Washington, Illinois and Wisconsin.
The new data shows use of digital voting technology is becoming prevalent, but there is a disparity among states concerning the availability of campaign and lobbying data online.
Results of the 2002 survey are published in a new report, The Digital State 2002, and are based on a comprehensive poll of chief information officers of the 50 states. The report, which is sponsored by Hewlett-Packard, documents progress made by states during 2002 in adopting digital technologies to improve delivery of services to citizens.
The survey examined digital technologies in eight categories: E-commerce & Business Regulation, Taxation & Revenue, Social Services, Law Enforcement & the Courts, Digital Democracy, Management & Administration, Education and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)/Transportation.
Top-ranked Arizona earned a score of 92.7 percent for 2002, winning in the Digital Democracy category and tying for first in four other categories — Social Services, GIS/Transportation, Education and Management & Administration.
The overall scores for the other top-five states are as follows: Michigan (89.2); Washington (88.8); Illinois (87.2) and Wisconsin (85.5).
This year, the top ten had four newcomers: Wisconsin moved to fifth place from 14th, Indiana moved from 22nd to 8th, South Dakota moved up three places to 9th, and Virginia — the big mover — placed 6th this year, after its 28th place finish for 2001. The average score of all states for 2002 is 65.4 points, and the median score is 72.7 points.
“Despite cuts in state budgets and tough times in the technology sector, this survey shows that digital technologies are continuing to facilitate better government at lower cost to taxpayers,” said Jeffrey A. Eisenach, president of The Progress & Freedom Foundation. “The e-government revolution is just beginning.”
“The innovative use of digital technology is essential to streamlining government, and this recognition from The Progress & Freedom Foundation confirms that Arizona has used this technology exceptionally well,” said Arizona Governor Jane Dee Hull. “I am very proud to receive this honor on behalf of the State of Arizona and all the state employees who made this possible.”
“We are delighted to sponsor this important survey and want to join in adding our congratulations to Arizona and to all of the winners,” said Cathy Martin, Hewlett-Packard Company’s director for state and local government. The survey is available at www.pff.org. Highlights of The Digital State 2002 report include:
o In 31 states, more than half of the voting precincts utilize digital technologies to cast and tabulate ballots. In eight states, a majority of precincts still rely on manual, paper ballots or mechanical means such as levers and punch cards.
o States showed a wide gap in the amount of information available online with respect to campaign and lobbying activities. More states received the lowest scores on our disclosure question than received the highest score, which required use of the Internet for at least four of five features. In addition, two thirds of the states were at one or the other end of the spectrum on this question.
o Forty-one states report using electronic benefit transfer technology (EBT) to distribute at least a portion of benefits and all responding states have either implemented, or scheduled implementation for 2002, electronic benefit transfer systems.
o Ninety-three percent of the responding states have equipped at least some officers with mobile, digital devices such as laptops, hand-held computers or voice-recognition devices that are connected to a digital communications network. Two-thirds of the states have deployed these devices with more than half of their officers.
o Sixty percent of the states have a computer system that integrates criminal justice and law enforcement information systems on a functional basis, thus allowing an authorized user to retrieve data on identity, custody, and the criminal offense in a single user session.
o The privacy and security statements of 31 states are posted to the main Website or state portal and only one state lacks any form of privacy or security statement.
o In Arizona, state social service caseworkers have access to a range of digital technologies to improve their communication with program participants. All Arizona caseworkers have email. In addition, councilors who serve deaf individuals have TTY modems. In addition, the state uses video conferencing to provide more than 90 specialty services in orthopedics, dermatology and cardiology, a well as dental and mental health to inmates.
The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that promotes innovative policies for the digital age based in Washington, D.C. It is a 501(c)(3) research and educational organization. The Center for Digital Government, based in Folsom, California, is a national research and advisory institute providing government and industry leaders with decision support, research and education services to help them effectively incorporate new technologies in the 21st century.