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Fostering Innovation in Local Government: How the State of Maryland in the US is Working with its Residents to Make Government More Efficient and Responsive

 
産業情報技術 2012年11月12日

Rapid Access International, Inc.

January 2012


http://www.rapidaccess.com/

The adoption of performance measures such as Performance Based Budgeting (PBB) -- or the inclusion of performance indicators in the public sector to measure how well government is working for its citizens -- is now pervasive throughout the US. More than 47 US states have now adopted performance measurement as part of their state budgets. Leaders in this area include the States of Washington, Maryland, and Utah. States like Maryland have made “innovation” a priority in their local government ? both at the state level and at the city or municipal level. Maryland’s dedication to this role in government is so strong they have formed a new position called the “Chief Innovation Officer” or CIO for the management and adoption of innovative programs throughout the state. The current CIO in Maryland is Bryan Sivak who formerly worked for the city of Washington, DC as the “Chief Technology Officer” and introduced innovative programs for citizens such as an online request center for citizens to ask their government questions or ask for services to be completed. He also introduced a program called TrackDC to help the City of Washington, DC to track its progress and measure performance against target benchmarks.

Case Study: Innovation in the State of Maryland

With the global economic downturn, all US states are facing huge budget cuts to make local government more efficient and to operate with fewer resources. This means that innovation has to be the key factor in helping local government to succeed. Maryland’s Governor Martin O'Malley is at the forefront of this trend and has introduced programs such as Statestat and Citistat in the past with great success. (RAI has written about these topics for the Platinum Society in earlier reports). The Maryland 2012 budget includes billions of dollars in proposed cuts, including hundreds of millions of dollars to be cut from the state agencies (in vital areas such as healthcare or education). The challenge now is how to bring ideas to fruition in the context of state government, where entrenched bureaucracy, culture, aging legacy IT systems and more prosaic challenges around regulations stand in the way.

Saving Costs through “Cloud Computing”

One of the main target areas to cut costs is to move computer functions and services into a hosted or “cloud” environment and to replace aging legacy computer networks and hardware to hosted services in an inexpensive cloud environment. The State of Maryland is currently merging 57 systems into one large system to save costs. The cloud environment (using Google Apps for Enterprise) is also hosting the email system for the State of Maryland. This will save an estimated $11 million for approximately 13,000 employees. According to Mr. Sivak (the CIO for Maryland) the key is to attract new jobs and new entrepreneurs into the state to grow the local economy. In order to accomplish that task, it is important to have an infrastructure in place and a responsive local government at the state and municipal level to support the new entrepreneurial environment. Maryland accomplished this initially through establishing efficient programs such as CitiStat and StateStat with great success. Now they are trying to promote additional measures to make Maryland a successful hub for technology and to attract new companies and new talent. These include:

  • Public-private partnerships to commercialize technologies from R&D to start-up companies.
    Maryland is among the leaders in the US for Ph.D scientists and engineers and is also ranked #1 in federal research and development. However, the state is ranked #37 in entrepreneurial startups. This means there is a huge gap in Maryland between the development of technology (R&D) and how those ideas and technologies are turned into commercial ventures to create jobs and capital. This gap is a problem that Maryland is working on to create new innovation and jobs in the local economy. To solve the problem of commercialization, Maryland has created a Technology Development Corporation (“TEDCO”) as a public-private partnership to provide seed money from large companies like Johnson & Johnson as well as state funding to invest in and grow companies in Maryland and to attract scientists and entrepreneurs from other states to start entrepreneurial business. TEDCO is a quasi-public entity focused on encouraging technology development across the state. TEDCO is managed by the Department of Business and Economic Development in the State of Maryland to support the infrastructure for new growth.
  • Maryland as the Global Center for Cyber security.
    Cyber security is one of the most important new big industries globally (with firms such as Cisco, Symantec, McAfee, IBM, Juniper Networks) and Maryland has decided to make their state a “center of excellence” in this arena. In 2010, the Department of Business and Economic Development developed a “Cyber Maryland Plan.” These plan contains10 priorities to make Maryland the cyber security hub of the world with strong emphasis on protecting the US government and private companies from cyber threats. Maryland has attracted the headquarters of large companies like Lockheed Martin and these firms are helping to drive the local economy through the creation of jobs in biotech and cyber security ? two big technology development topic areas in Maryland.
  • “Crowdsourcing” as a Means to Leverage Local Talent in the State.
    This is a new trend in the US to leverage the knowledge and skills of the people to help solve government problems. Maryland is embracing its citizens to participate in solving problems within the state through active communication by email or blogs to present ideas or topics of interest. The areas where citizens participate the most include public safety and crime watch. Through a web-based model, issues can be reported by citizens and tracked in a single interface but acted upon by the appropriate entity (such as the police or healthcare providers). The citizens have a lot of knowledge and abilities in many topic areas and they should be encouraged to work with their government through crowdsourcing to report activities or to contribute ideas or plans to the proper authorities in their local government.

Maryland is a clear leader in the US for the development of innovative solutions for local government. The initial success of the Maryland programs is attributed to the establishment of both StateStat and CitiStat and these programs are now being adopted widely by other states in the US. Maryland has again taken the lead in developing programs beyond StateStat and CitiStat that focus on the commercialization of government-funded research and to help companies that commercialize those technologies in Maryland with seed funding and access to their local government. Maryland took an assessment of their strengths in both biotechnology and cyber security and then focused on those areas to make Maryland a “Center of Excellence” to attract cyber security technology companies from all over the world to relocate in Maryland and create jobs and revenue.

Additional Resources:



TEDCO = http://www.marylandtedco.org/
Delivery Unit for StateStat and CitiStat for Maryland =
http://www.statestat.maryland.gov/gdu.asp
Maryland’s “Cyber Maryland Plan” =
http://www.choosemaryland.org/aboutdbed/Documents/finalCyberReport.pdf

For a study on the Cyber Security Industry (including market size and investment) see:
http://defense-ventures.com/storage/Innovation%20Trends%20in%20Cyber%20Security%201.pdf

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