Small Town, Big Use of Open Source Software

One of the local government stories (success and challenge) we’d hoped to see at GOSCON this year was from the City of Northglenn, Colorado.  Christine Martinez,  formerly a systems analyst there, can’t join us this year but she was kind enough to share her slide set on that city’s extensive use of open source software which she presented last year at the 2007 National Association of Government Webmasters Conference held in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

The project list covered in the presentation includes:

  • Joomla! CMS (and custom supporting applications)
  • PHPSurveyor
  • WebDocs
  • PHPLists
  • NGDIS (Northglenn Document Imaging System)
  • Police Bulletin Board

It’s no secret I’m a big fan of E-Government.  Northglenn’s out-the-box thinking netted web services to city employees that they could use without the IT department’s intervention.  And how many small towns have a document imaging system?  If you’re living in a small town, government transparency by way of the Internet depends on the webmaster’s work load and vacation schedule.  Good Content Management Systems (CMS) make it easy for non-technical public service employees to share  what’s up at your seat of government.  Impressive and resourceful.

You can view the presentation on GoogleDocs.

City of Newport News back in it again with Open eGov

Open eGov

Open eGov

Open eGov Wins a second award, returns to GOSCON to tell story and share software

One of government’s biggest champions of the enthusiastic yet reasoned use of open source software is Andy Stein, IT director, City of Newport News Virginia. Last year he and his team won a prestigious award for the Plone CMS based E-Government platform they developed for the city then shared. More recently the project was awarded the 2008 Digital Government Achievement Award in the Government to Government category (read their press release on the Center’s web site).

All in all it was a good day for Virginia which received two 2008 Digital Government Achievement Awards plus a Best of the Web award for its outstanding state portal. The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy’s e-forms initiative, the Department of Taxation’s telework initiative and the Open eGov initiative were all winners.

Is it something in the water? That’s the question I want to ask Virginia secretary of technology Aneesh Chopra when he delivers the GOSCON closing keynote this October 22 in Portland, OR. Congrats to the Commonwealth of VA and thanks for your substantive contributions to the Government Open Source Conference.