A space for government ‘innovators’ to share ideas and engage in dialog about alternative funding models for eGovernment services and how no-cost eGovernment is currently benefitting agencies nationwide.
Myth or Reality: No-Cost eGovernment?
April 1, 2013 at 8:55 pm #177695
What you probably didn’t know is that (according to The Center for Digital Government’s “The Self Funded Model: Eliminating Costs and Enhancing Service Delivery” Brief), they cost the government nothing:
Collectively, they offer nearly 3,000 online services to citizens, conduct over 60 million transactions each year and garner millions of unique page views each month. At the same time, they are generating significant cost savings and operational efficiencies without the risk of traditional capital investments.
Instead these services are provided for free to the state government through a self funded model where a small percentage of each transaction goes to the solution provider (in this case NIC)
Imagine a world where governments are providing more services to their constituents while charging less or none for this service. Is this the true blue “do more with less solution” we’ve all sworn couldn’t be possible?
Does no-cost eGovernment seem like a myth or reality?
What types of alternative funding solutions do you think are feasible for your agency?
April 26, 2013 at 2:16 pm #177701
I fully support self-funded, hosted solutions. Self-service, self-funded processes do make our organizations more nimble and are very cost effective compared to the alternatives. But when I dig into the typical savings calculations – I usually find they are not done in a realistic manner. Things like: “Processing a paper check costs the state $15.00 whereas the online method costs us nothing. 10,000 online payments saves the State a huge amount of money.” But that second sentence makes some huge assumptions. Shifting those payments to an online service may not reduce the State’s over-head costs or their number of employees. For that savings to be realized the organization would have to restructure; which may not be possible due to other requirements.
And you still have to plan for disaster situations. Say a State uses one vendor for 200 online services; and then the vendor goes out of business – or their services fail during a critical time – or they realize the service doesn’t meet the legal requirements for that state. If it is no cost government, then there is no budget. They can’t temporarily hire 5 people to do it the old-fashioned way, so what then?
No, I don’t believe in no-cost government. But I do believe in a more nimble, cost-effective government. And self-funded online services is critical in that effort.
April 26, 2013 at 2:35 pm #177699
Tim J. ClarkParticipant
No-cost (there is a cost to someone) is certainly a myth but expectations for better solutions at less cost will always be a reality.
April 26, 2013 at 2:48 pm #177697
Have had some exposure to the “custom” licence plate “site” for Texas (http://www.myplates.com/) IMO it points out all the weakness and postives for outsourcing egov.
Comparing it to other states it is somewhat more expensive to buy a plate…
There is no APPARENT appeal process if you are rejected for your choice of plate….
the income is less than if the state ran it( with current DMV employees)….
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