District of Columbia: Harnessing the Power of Information and Communication Technology to Enable Good Governance
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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.
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This case is about the technology strategies and initiatives
undertaken by the government of District of Columbia (DC) to enable good
governance. As e-governance provides greater efficiency, accuracy, and
reliability in services, the DC government planned to incorporate technology in
every aspect of its operations. The aim of the district's government was to
democratize data and provide an open, participatory government wherein citizens
could access government data and hold the government accountable for its
operations. Established in 1999, the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO)
was responsible for assessing new and emerging technologies to determine their
potential application to district programs and services.
In 2007, Adrian M. Fenty (Fenty) became the
Mayor of DC. Fenty's aim was to redesign the DC municipal
administration by making it more receptive to citizen's needs.
He wanted to simplify government services that usually involve
complex procedures and multiple agencies. In May 2007, Fenty
appointed Vivek Kundra (Kundra) as the Chief Technology Officer
(CTO) of DC. Kundra's responsibility was to decide on the
technology investments and how these investments could be
leveraged to benefit the citizens. The case discusses the
various IT initiatives implemented under the leadership of
Kundra in government agencies, police department, district
school system, libraries and health department.
The case discusses the role played by Kundra in laying the
foundation for digital democracy and creating a "Digital Public
Square", where citizens were able to 'Discover, Participate and
Connect' with the government. The case also discusses the
criticism faced by the government from some bureaucrats who
resisted change as they were not happy with the idea of making
government data public. The case concludes with a brief
description of the technological investments planned by the DC
government in the future and the further challenges faced by it.
» Understand the importance of an e-governance system and how information and
communication technology can be used to enable good governance.
» Examine the strategic role of Chief Technology Officer and the various issues
and challenges faced by him/her.
» Analyze the technological initiatives taken by the government of District of
Columbia and their results.
» Understand the issues and challenges faced by the government in democratizing
data and incorporating technology in its operations.
» Understand how innovation can be fostered in public sector/governmental
organizations and the various challenges in doing so.
Information Technology, Digital Democracy, e-governance, Digital Public Square, OCTO, Stock Market Model, Data catalogs, DC Web portal, Data feeds, Apps for Democracy, DC-Net, Citywide Data Warehouse, CapStat Website, Vivek Kundra, DC Public Schools (DCPS), Transparency, DCpedia, Technological initiatives, Cloud Computing
District of Columbia: Harnessing the Power of Information and Communication
Technology to Enable Good Governance
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