February 27, 2007 By Wayne Hanson
The opinion has created a furor among county clerks. A notice on the Travis County Clerk's site says: "We are currently evaluating a recently released Attorney Generals Opinion. One possible result is that images of documents will have to be removed from Internet access unless the Attorney General takes more positive action on this issue. This could occur as soon as February 26, 2007. We regret any inconvenience this may cause."
The Williamson County Clerk Web site has a similar notice: "You should expect long lines in the clerk's office as every document must be thoroughly reviewed by staff prior to making a copy for the requestor. Thank you for your patience during this necessary transition.
According to an article in today's Austin American-Statesman panicked clerks have closed public records access computer terminals and one office blocked records with crime-scene tape.
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.