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The Public Technology Institute – GovLoop Project of the Week, May 6, 2009

Pardon The Interruption… for the PTI (Public Technology Institute)…

Celebrating its 35th year of providing technology leadership, the PTI, lead by GovLoop member Dr. Alan Shark, is a not-for-profit, member supported organization. PTI is the only technology organization created by and for cities and counties. Its core network of local government officials work to identify opportunities for technology research, share solutions and recognize member achievements. They also develop best practices that address the technology management, governance and policy issues that impact local government.

Officials from member governments participate in councils and forums that address specific technology areas affecting local governments of all sizes. Some areas of discussion are GIS, public safety and homeland security, sustainability, web management and e-government.

The PTI offers technology management consulting which provides local governments with strategic and technical guidance by a team of industry experts. To take it one step further, they have a program called “Executives On-Loan.” Executives On-Loan brings teams of officials together who have addressed similar problems to share insight and make recommendations in a specific problem area.

The PTI has many programs; one of them is called the Citizen Engaged Community Designation Program. The purpose of this program is to challenge local governments to “achieve high standards in citizen participation, seamless service delivery and democratic accountability.” The program works by identifying best practices for the use of Citizen Relationship Management, 311 systems, web portals, landline and mobile communications and government performance reporting.

Of PTI’s many programs, the latest one (launching in June) is designed to recognize local governments for achievements in the use of Web 2.0 / Social Networking to reach out to citizens. As we know, government, at all levels, are expanding their use of Web 2.0/SocMed to more effectively communicate with its citizenry. Starting with the 2009 Technology Solutions & Innovations Conference (see below), the PTI will host a series of webinars exploring how local govs are using web 2.0, the implications of policy with web 2.0 and reviewing lessons learned along with examples of positive results of web 2.0 implementation. During the conference, the PTI will be convening an advisory board of local government officials to develop guidelines for this new award. Work will also done to produce a series of articles and other outreach to promote virtual town halls. More info…

If your local government is a member of PTI, you are invited to apply for recognition as an Innovation Lab. The Innovation Lab designation is “a mark of excellence for the proven, successful deployment of a technology solution or practice.” The local govs that are designated as Innovation Labs are a great resource for other local govs looking to implement similar projects. Innovation Lab designees are required to document and share results with other local governments so they can benefit from the experience of these early adopters. This knowledge sharing will help local govs save taxpayer dollars by not having to reinvent the wheel.

“Our members continue to push the boundaries of innovation despite the economic environment,” said PTI Executive Direct, Alan Shark. He will present the 2008-2009 Technology Solutions Awards at the 2009 Technology Solutions & Innovations Conference & Exposition which is being held in San Diego at the Sheraton Hotel & Marina, on May 12th – 14th.

The conference, which is the only technology conference dedicated to local government, will feature educational workshops and other activities that focus on solutions, leading practices and the skills necessary to survive and spur innovation.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Cities & Counties: Striving and Thriving When Times are Tough.”

Some of the award winners being honored at the conference are:

Web & E-Government Services:
North Kingstown, Rhode Island – Government Transparency Through Accountability
Houston , Texas – CitizensNet (Significant Acheivement)

Fort Wayne, Indiana – Green Business Program
Denver, Colorado – Denver’s Driving Change Program Reduces Vehicular CO2 Emissions
Los Angeles County, CA – Countywide Solar Mapping Portal

Telecom & IT:
Cincinnati, Ohio – IT Village Youth Lab (pdf)
Austin, Texas – Analysis Made Simple
Boston, Mass – Boston Optical Fiber Network (Significant Achievement)

See more winners here.

There is a membership fee for local govs, businesses and non-profits. Annual fees range from $1,000 to $30,000 for local govs with populations from less than 25,000 to over 2 million, respectively (among several levels in between). Businesses can join from $750 to $10,000 per year depending on needs. Non-profits can join for $500 annually.

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