It’s been 12 years since the U.S. government went online. The first stage of e-government meant a passive presence on the Web based on information, but not citizen interaction. The public sector evolved to the second stage: developing Web applications that allowed individuals to interact with government, such as paying parking tickets and renewing drivers’ licenses.
But these applications are still often quite user-unfriendly, too often designed around the needs of the agency, rather than the needs of the citizen. While most governments and agencies have made progress in moving to stage two, they have been slow to move to the third stage of e-government – create functionally oriented, citizen-centered government Web presences by breaking down bureaucratic barriers. Some in government have pushed hard t