With projects ranging from safer Web browsing to a 21st century air traffic control system, federal, state, and local agencies demonstrate that they, too, can apply IT in critical and novel ways.
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The challenge of serving California's citizens has been made difficult by the tough economy, combined with the state's own budget woes. People come to the state's primary website, CA.gov, "because they need to, because they have to," according to California's eServices Office. The eServices Office, which develops websites and web applications for state agencies, is behind several e-government initiatives that have elevated state services at little or no additional cost to state taxpayers.
For example, when furloughs created long lines at Department of Motor Vehicles offices, eServices turned to Twitter to answer questions. Elsewhere, a widget was created for the state's Employment Development Department that combines the department's news, Twitter and YouTube services for the public. Within two months, the widget had received 2 million impressions.
California's eServices Office also worked with six other state organizations to develop and launch a website, at business.ca.gov, in support of the Office of Economic Development, after that office was created through the consolidation of other departments. As the eServices Office has demonstrated, it's necessary to do more with less when less is all you've have.