Software for E-Government

A topic I have begun to explore is the best e-government software to support public participation in urban planning. I’ve previously written about LimeHouse‘s tool, which amounts to a web-based document management system that supports the equivalent of blog comments on document sections.

Adobe has been advertising their LiveCycle suite of tools heavily on the D.C. Metro and buses. It features interactive, online forms that interface with existing government databases and processes. Not a bad thing, but this is the type of one-to-one e-government I described in my blog post about urban planning and e-government. Online forms are necessary, but have limited applicability for planning exercises.

Today I noticed a recent announcement from Microsoft regarding their

Citizen Service Platform (CSP), which will make it easier for governments to interact with citizens, streamline processes and, as a result, save time and taxpayer dollars. Together with its partners, Microsoft’s CSP offerings will help governments of all sizes more responsively deliver services to citizens via the Internet.”

While the list of features is promising, I’d like to see exactly how smoothly the entire package comes together. They claim to have some GIS support, something potentially useful to planners.

Finally, in my new copy of The Next American City (you should be subscribing if you’re not) I saw an ad for a “Survey of Open Source Software Use by Municipal Government,” that seeks to “discover if small to medium cities (population less than 500,000) can conduct business and provide services using only open source software as an alternative to commercial software. The results of this research may provide insight that can help cities reduce the annual cost of information technology and software through the use of open source software.”

Do you have experience with any of these or other e-government software packages? What are the best software tools available to local planners?

Author: Rob Goodspeed


  1. Hi Rob,
    If you have not looked at our software in a while, it would be worthwhile for you to have an update.

    GIS integration, Variable Data Integration, InDesign integration…
    It is far more than a web-based doc management. I am not aware of any doc mgmt either web-based or not that supports one-click publishing to various outputs.

    Let me know when you have an hour available, and I will coordinate a web demo.

    Sandy Calabrese

  2. Well this is a discussion we have been having in Milwaukee and in fact we’ve reached out to some politicians to begin pushing for e-government solutions. One thing that I think could be accomplished easily for many city governments would be to begin providing access to the legal files as RSS feeds. I’ve noticed many city governments use a product called Legistar and with some fairly easy work they could make it very easy to follow what is going on with various legal matters….

  3. Hi I am the programme owner of the Microsoft Citizen Service Platform – which is our Local Government Solutions platform. If you visit this site you can find the specs and the resources on our scenarions that we have created. The sample scenarios were based upon common transactions like citizen portal interfaces as well as for political figures too. Additionally we added in some examples of GIS and data overlays using Virtual Earth, and finally have shown our platform delivering CRM samples. There is also a demosite you can log into and run a live demo if you want.

    We’ll shortly release source for all these scenarios and hope that it will help to give customers and partner a fast start in how to build on our stuff.

  4. Pingback: The Goodspeed Update » Blog Archive » E-Government Software, Part Two

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