Creating a North American Marketplace for E-Gov Ideas

Posted April 21, 2003

More than 30 E-Gov leaders from the United States, Canada and Mexico participated in the third annual North American Day meeting. The participants convened April 9 - 11, 2003, in rural Virginia near Washington, DC, to explore the best Electronic Government ideas in North America, and to share lessons-learned since last year's meeting in Mexico.

In his February 2002 budget submission to Congress, President Bush outlined a management agenda for making government more focused on citizens and results. This includes expanding Electronic Government, or E-Government. GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Communications (OCSC) has been a leader in E-Gov for three years.

OCSC hosted the North American Day meeting. Discussions were sponsored by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Mark Forman, associate director of information technology and E-government with the OMB, headed the United States delegation. Chief Information Officer Michelle d'Auray led the Canadian delegates. Abraham Sotelo, coordinator of the Mexican eGovernment project, led the Mexican delegation.

The high-level group discussed each country’s experiences with a broad array of leading-edge topics. During the three-day meeting, they explored ways to:

  1. engage the public in E-Gov programs
  2. develop strategies and policies for national technology
  3. evaluate E-Gov programs
  4. collaborate across borders

Improving the public’s ability to get information and conduct government business over the Internet is an ongoing primary interest. The delegations agreed to pursue a number of joint projects:

  1. reviewing business architectures to determine alignment across nations
  2. aligning XML standards on recreation web sites
  3. standards for IT accessibility by the disabled
  4. ways to secure and assure the identities of people who conduct transactions online

The three countries’ E-Gov leaders will continue to meet and collaborate on these issues of common concern throughout the year. Next year, they will convene in Canada for the fourth North American Day.

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