A leading voice in the world of technology says state and local governments must drive innovative as well as cost-effective programs in order to survive the current fiscal climate.

In light of budget constraints across the country, TechAmerica’s State and Local Government (SLG) Board of Directors has released new policy recommendations on how to employ IT to make improvements to major programs and support operations under challenging fiscal conditions.

“Governments across the nation are being confronted with the need to provide public services with fewer and fewer resources,” said Phil Bond, president and CEO of TechAmerica. “These recommendations provide ideas that state and local leaders can use today to change the way they do business in ways that create efficiencies and give taxpayers more bang for their buck.”

The recommendations focus on transforming the way programs are run, making possible major leaps forward in program effectiveness and efficiency, and improving productivity and cost control.

TechAmerica urges states and local governments to:

  • Increase collaboration and communication between the private sector and state and local government in all areas of technology acquisition, deployment and service delivery.
  • Allow for acquisition and operation of applications, infrastructure, and solutions that encompass the entire government enterprise.
  • Streamline acquisition processes to enable more rapid technology and solutions procurement.
  • Appoint strong, visionary Information Technology officers, with authority to align technology assets, operations, and services across the enterprise.
  • Preserve the private sector role in deploying technologies and providing services to government agencies and their customers.

Specific recommendations include streamlining acquisition processes to enable more rapid technology and solutions procurement and allowing applications, infrastructure, and solutions that encompass the entire government enterprise.

In many states and large localities, TechAmerica points out, IT procurements have stretched to 12 to 18 months — durations which make the procurement highly risky and expensive for all
parties. Further, static and lengthy contracting practices can cause delays for the government
customer seeking access to emerging technologies, including cloud computing, infrastructure
and application services, and mobility products and services.

In addition, the board recommends reforming federal laws, directives, and funding formulae that present barriers to modern SLG business practices and processes and working collaboratively to enable more flexible and efficient policies and practices in
managing SLG IT workforces.

“Government leaders at the state and local levels are seeking solutions and ideas to cut costs, reduce deficits, save taxpayer dollars and continue to provide services with limited resources. Information technology is the enabler that can help realize these strategic goals,” said Caroline Rapking, vice president of the Global Public Sector and vice-chair of TechAmerica’s SLG Board of Directors. “With this set of policy recommendations, the companies on TechAmerica’s SLG Board have pulled together a framework that will move governments down a path toward real program and service transformation.”