E-government evolving from information-only to services available online

HAYS, KS -- E-government is evolving from a mere presence to interaction and transaction with citizens to provide critical information and services online, and it will be one of the main topics at Telepower 2001, Sept. 26-27 at Fort Hays State University.

This is the 10th Telepower, presented by the university's Docking Institute of Public Affairs.

Joe Blubaugh, project manager with the Information Network of Kansas, enthusiastically promotes the importance of e-government and the benefits this technology may provide to counties throughout Kansas.

"You can't put a price tag on the conservation of time," said Blubaugh of his agency's creation of accessKansas, the official state Web portal and provider of electronic government solutions for the state of Kansas.

The process of placing government services online benefits the public as well as local government.

"The public will benefit by saving time. Instead of visiting the government offices, they will go to the computer. The county will be able to refocus staff," said Blubaugh.

Currently, 22 counties across Kansas have property tax applications available online. The motor vehicle renewal application will soon be available online to all 105 counties within Kansas.

Blubaugh will speak Sept. 27, the conference's second day, in a presentation titled "E-government -- Beyond a Presence." This session will focus on the revised Kansas Web site's online services and how local county governments are putting property tax and other services online.

"E-government has had a slow adoption in Kansas due to fewer resources," said Blubaugh. "I would like to show how counties could leverage e-government."

Telepower is designed to inform rural leaders how their communities can use information technology to improve the lives of their citizens in the areas of business, education, health care, government, and economic development.

This year's underwriting sponsors include Southwestern Bell and Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation. The corporate sponsors are Rural Telephone, Information Network of Kansas, Garden City Information Technology Cooperative, the Kansas Small Business Development Center and the Kansas Association of Counties.

Supportive sponsors include Sunflower Electric Power Corp., Utilicorp United, WestLink Communications, the Kansas Department of Commerce and Housing, Avaya Communication, Robert and Sheryl Cox, and Palm.

Other topics covered in this year's Telepower conference include electronic medical records, workforce development in the new economy, the economy's new deal, and IT access success stories.

For more information or to register to attend Telepower 2001, contact Cathy Drabkin at (785) 628-5952 or visit the conference Web site at www.fhsu.edu/docking/telepower.

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