Government agencies from California to Washington, D.C., are taking on ambitious IT initiatives in an effort to provide better services at lower costs. Here are some federal, state, and local efforts that are leading the way.
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In Kansas, following an auto accident, a prisoner working in a state correctional facility used to manually enter data from the crash report into the Department of Transportation's repository. It was a labor-intensive process with a lag time of up to 12 months between incident and data entry. That 20th century "system" was replaced last year with an automated digital platform called the Kansas Traffic Records System that's shared by the Kansas Highway Patrol, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, and other state agencies. Law enforcement agencies now submit crash reports electronically into the system. The reports must be "cleared" by data validation software, after which they are indexed for later retrieval and analysis. A PDF copy of the original document is stored as well. As next steps, the department plans to incorporate DUI incidents and emergency and trauma care data. Its goal is to create a one-stop shop of crash-related data that can be accessed by appropriate state agencies.