September 11, 2008 By Wayne Hanson
Paul J. Cosgrave, commissioner of the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, participated yesterday in an online forum hosted by The New York Times. The subject was the city's 311 system which handles complaints and information requests from residents.
Cosgrove pointed out that one caller asked for the FCC when the agency that handled that particular service was the city's Department of Sanitation. Cosgrove said that often the public doesn't know what level or part of government handles what service -- which is what the 311 system was made for.
Cosgrove said that since January, service requests can be tracked online and the city has plans to expand 311 so service requests can be initiated online as well.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.