The Importance of Information Technology to the Federal Government
On an annual basis, the federal government spends billions of dollars on improving information technology while ensuring speedy accomplishment of targeted administrative missions. Like commercial investments, the government organizations have utilized IT in managing research and information systems. With the introduction of internet and particularly the World Wide Web, information technology is emerging to be the main government approach of communicating with the populations and other shareholders. At all administrative levels, the government is formulating new approaches of utilizing information technology in order to provide public services to individuals and businesses. A significantly large amount of information from the government is availed through the internet. Similarly, several government undertakings from tax fillings and procurement are taking place through the internet.
Gallagher (2013) explains various federal government websites that avail information on several government activities to the public. FirstGov is a single virtual portal that links the users to all government locations. Moreover, FirstGov contains one of the largest numbers of web pages across the world. Using this website, users obtain information about 27 million web pages of federal agency simultaneously (Akman, 2010). Another innovation of the federal government explained by Riggs (2013) is the Trademark and Patent Office's X-Search system. This system ensures that all internet users freely search and obtain trademarks records abandoned, registered, pending, expired, or cancelled. The Federal Government has also made significant improvement in service provision by introducing information technology in National Institutes of Health (NIH). This institute maintains an online service that ensures that users gain access to information regarding the latest research results for health complications such as heart disease, cancer among risky diseases.
The federal government has also introduced the technology that enables users to easily obtain required applications and make submissions online (William, 2009). Using the forms posted by social security institution, citizens can conveniently make retirement benefits applications online. Similarly, development of the online reservation system by the US Department of Agriculture's Forest Service ensures that bookings takes place online across the globe. Moreover, the education department in the United States avails documentation and software for student assistance online (Yu-Che & Jun-Yi, 2009). Tax reforms information is also availed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) online. Therefore, because of this technology improvement, taxpayers can pay online.
Efficiency of information technology is also seen in promotion of communication between the government agencies. This represents a significant improvement from the 15th Century, when communication of contracts and sharing documents between various administrations relied on paperwork. Drawbacks of this communication method were several and included time wastage, high cost, and high unreliability level (Yu-Che & Jun-Yi, 2009). In the 16th Century, script writing was common means of communication in the government. This know-how was later replaced by print technology. However, the two technologies improved following introduction of telegraph system. At some point, the communication was improved to involve a report created on the computer or processor. However, the introduction of information technology represents a major transformation because eGovernment is able to reduce, if not eradicate, the redundancies associated with manual data transmission system (Yu-Che & Jun-Yi, 2009).
In conclusion, the success of information technology implies success of the federal government. Major advancements include accuracy in information categorization and privacy protection. Therefore, there is need for new and audacious steps to overhaul the government administrative systems. The government should promote policies support information technology while passing and implementing convincing laws that will ensure advancement of the information technology in the federal government.
Akman, I. (2010). Predictive Effect of Gender and Sector Differences on Internet Usage Among Employees. Engineering Economics, 21(3), 295-305.
Riggs, S. (2013). “Information, Integrity, and Access.” GSA. Retrieved from: http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/104634?utm_source=OGP&utm_medium=print-radio&utm_term=HDR_3_Plcy_technology&utm_campaign=shortcuts
William, F. (2009). The Necessity of eGovernment. Santa Clara Computer & High Technology Law Journal, 25(3): 427-465.
Yu-Che, C. & Jun-Yi, H. (2009). Advancing E-Governance: Comparing Taiwan and the United States. Public Administration Review. 151-158.
Gallagher, S. ( Oct 10, 2013). “Why US government IT fails so hard, so often.” ArsTechnica. Retrieved from: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/10/why-us-government-it-fails-so-hard-so-often/