September 20, 2009 By News Report
The Manhattan Institute's Empire Center for New York State Policy, which last year launched SeeThroughNY, a transparency site that revealed the salaries of all New York State employees, on Friday announced that it has added the municipal payroll files of all counties, cities, towns, villages and special districts in the state.
The site is controversial, as most public employees feel publishing their salaries by name is an invasion of privacy. However, the state's Freedom of Information Law states: "The people's right to know the process of governmental decision-making and to review the documents and statistics leading to determinations is basic to our society. Access to such information should not be thwarted by shrouding it with the cloak of secrecy or confidentiality. The Legislature therefore declares that government is the public's business and that the public, individually and collectively and represented by a free press, should have access to the records of government in accordance with the provisions of this article."
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.