December 01, 2004

California a Dollar Short, a Day Late?

State CIO J. Clark Kelso wants to make government more accessible to the citizens of California. In an interview with Information Week's Eric Chabrow, (Nov 22, 2004), Kelso announced, "We need to start changing the inefficeinent way we provide services." The state spends between $2 billion and $4 billion annually on IT.

Kelso is the author of the "California State Information Technology Strategic Plan" (PDF), a 5-year plan presented this month to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The Plan follows a more lengthy report issued in August by the California Performance Review Commission. The Commision was charged by Gov. Schwarzenegger with figuring out how to make state government work better and cheaper. Among the ideas in the panel's $32 billion cost-cutting recommendations: favoring open-source software over proprietary alternatives for new IT purchases.

The report, titled Government for the People for a Change, is a 4-volume study with recommendations including recommendations to "Explore Open Source Alternatives." "The state should more extensively consider use of open source software," it recommends, "which can in many cases provide the same functionality as closed source software at a much lower total cost of ownership."

The CIO's most recent plan to bring efficiency to California Information Technology promotes six strategic goals including three that could be facilitated by open source RSS syndication:

  • Make Government services more accessible to citizens and State clients.

  • Implement common business applications and systems to improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

  • Lower costs and improve the security, reliability and performance of the State's IT infrastructure.

The report also identifies needs and priorities important to most or all California agencies including "the ability to easily access information and services while ensuring that such access is allowed only to those intended," "efficient and cost saving means to deliver services," and the "need to respond and transact quickly" [p.8].

Unfortunately, there is no mention of RSS news feeds or xml syndication anywhere in the plan.

California prides itself as the world's fifth largest economy, but in the world of providing syndicated news and services, it lags behind Rhode Island and Delaware. Social Commentator Jamais Cascio writing in WorldChanging wryly observes, "Some states that you'd think would be technologially on the ball (California, for example) have few if any feeds, while other locations are swimming in them."

Posted by Ray Matthews on December 01, 2004 at 12:41 AM | | Comments (0) | Send this story to a friend!