Texas, New Jersey Online Services Ranked Number

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Fri Aug 18 12:14:04 UTC 2006

Texas, New Jersey Online Services Ranked Number One by Brown University
Thirty percent of sites offer some type of foreign language translation

Aug 17, 2006

Texas and New Jersey are the best states for e-government in the United
States, according to the seventh annual e-government analysis conducted by
researchers at Brown University. The federal portal FirstGov.gov and the
Department of Agriculture are the most highly rated federal sites.

Darrell M. West, director of the Taubman Center for Public Policy at Brown
University, and a team of researchers examined 1,564 state and federal
sites. The researchers analyzed 1,503 state sites (an average of 30 sites
per state), plus 48 federal government legislative and executive sites and
13 federal court sites. Research was completed during June and July 2006.

Web sites were evaluated for the presence of various electronic features,
such as online publications, databases, audio clips, video clips, foreign
language content or language translation services, advertisements, premium
fees, user payments or fees, disability access, privacy policy, security
policy, presence of online services, number of online services, digital
signatures, credit card payments, e-mail addresses, comment forms,
automatic email updates, Web site personalization, PDA accessibility, and
readability level.

The results show progress has been made on several fronts. In terms of
online services, 77 percent of state and federal sites have services that
are fully executable online, up from 73 percent last year. In addition, a
growing number of sites offer privacy and security policy statements. This
year, 71 percent have some form of privacy policy on their site, up from
69 percent in 2005. Sixty-three percent now have a visible security
policy, up from 54 percent last year. Thirty percent of sites offer some
type of foreign language translation, compared to 18 percent last year.

The survey found that citizens are being asked to shoulder more of the
cost of providing online services. Twelve percent of sites charge visitors
a fee to use online services, compared to only 2 percent last year.

In terms of disability access for the visually impaired, automated Bobby
software, available from Watchfire Inc., found that 54 percent of federal
sites and 43 percent of state sites meet the World Wide Web Consortium
(W3C) disability guidelines. The federal numbers are up from 44 percent in
2005, while the state numbers are up from 40 percent last year.

The study also ranked the 50 states and various federal agencies on
overall e-government performance. Using measures such as online services,
attention to privacy and security, disability access, and foreign language
translation, researchers rated the various state sites and compared their
performance to last year's rating.

The top-ranking states include Texas, New Jersey, Oregon, Michigan, Utah,
Montana, New York, Illinois, Indiana and Pennsylvania. According to the
study, the most poorly performing e-government states are Alaska, Alabama,
Wyoming and Mississippi.

Top-rated federal Web sites include the FirstGov.gov portal, Department of
Agriculture, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of
Commerce, Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Postal
Service, Department of Education, Social Security Administration and
Department of State. At the low end of the ratings are the various circuit
courts of appeals.



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