June 11, 2009 By Elaine Rundle
In order to reduce the energy and environmental impact of Virginia's executive branch agencies and institutions, Gov. Timothy Kaine issued an executive order that promotes energy- and water-efficient buildings, encourages reductions in employee travel and commuting, and minimizes disposable materials use. The executive order requires state agencies to adopt energy and travel policies, and gives them the option to participate in a green challenge that will track a variety of environmentally friendly metrics.
"Because the commonwealth's business operation is so large, any action we take to reduce our environmental impact will have a significant effect," Kaine said in a statement. "I am hopeful that by reducing the environmental impact of government operations, the commonwealth can inspire private businesses and individuals to adopt similar measures."
Executive Order 82 requires all executive branch agencies and institutions to adopt and post policies concerning topics like energy and water use, waste reduction and travel on their Web sites by July 1, 2010. Agencies have the option to state their intent to develop an Environmental Management System -- a tool that can be utilized to assess how the agency interacts with the environment and how to minimize those interactions -- by the date instead of posting the policies on their Web sites.
According to the order, agencies that choose to adopt policies must include:
The executive order created the Green Commonwealth Challenge, in which Kaine asks state agencies and employees to make deliberate actions that aid the environment. Agencies that choose to participate in the challenge will report to the secretary of Natural Resources, who will track specified metrics from June 15 through Nov. 15, 2009.
The metrics will include:
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.