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With An Eye to the Future

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2003: Electronic Government Services (EGS) Study

The objective of this study by the Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities was to evaluate the current status of Electronic Government Services (EGS), and develop an understanding of the needs, requirements, expectations and desires of customers related to EGS.

Respondents viewed EGS broadly as "all services the government could provide electronically." The main components of this included:

  • information (documents, FAQ's, program descriptions and qualification criteria, etc.)
  • transactions (application for services, on-line courses or training, etc.)
  • connections and networks.

Users indicated that they wanted to be able to apply for services on-line, and be able to check on the status of their application as it went through the process. Another request was for a list of "How To's;" such as How to report abuse and neglect, How to make an appeal, How to write a letter to your legislator, or How to write a letter of medical necessity.

Consumers said that they disliked "jargon and acronyms," and wanted more links to advocacy organizations and listservs – "where you can get on and talk about issues with other people who have already figured stuff out." Also important was a "Feedback Page," where people could leave comments about what they did and didn't like, and make suggestions about what they'd like to see included.

Overall, results indicated that providing information electronically, as compared to either verbally in-person or by phone, or through publication distribution, can and has significantly reduced government costs while increasing service to customers.