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UAlbany's Center for Technology in Government Studies Highlight Interoperability

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150



UAlbany's Center for Technology in Goverment's white papers, Government Worth Having and Improving Government Interoperability

UAlbany's Center for Technology in Government's most recent studies will help leaders understand the link between their policy decisions and the capability of governments to create systems to share information.

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 26, 2008) -- As government officials grapple with bringing about effective reform, the University at Albany's Center for Technology in Government has released two studies designed to help leaders understand the link between their policy decisions and the capability of governments to create systems to share information.

The white papers, Government Worth Having and Improving Government Interoperability, propose a new framework to help governments identify and start building the capabilities needed to improve interoperability. Interoperability is a key component of government reform and requires investments that involve complex policy, management, and technology changes that government leaders are often hesitant or unprepared to undertake.

The first paper, Government Worth Having: A briefing on interoperability for government leaders, is geared toward helping government leaders understand the important role they play in enabling more interoperable government. This paper presents a unique focus on the creation of policy and management capability, rather than technical capability, necessary to create interoperable government. It presents a set of recommendations to guide these leaders in the development of policies and principles for action.

"While public officials at all levels of government play important roles in interoperability efforts, government leaders alone have the power to alleviate the institutional constraints that impede these potentially transformative, but highly complex enterprise initiatives," said Theresa Pardo, CTG deputy director and co-author of the papers. Unfortunately, while leaders have the unique power to make these changes, experience shows that the policy environments they have created, or in many cases inherited, often limit the capability of governments to share authority, to collaborate, and to jointly and strategically manage enterprise initiatives. To change this, leaders must understand the link between policy and the capability of governments to create the systems necessary to share information and other resources."

The second paper, Improving Government Interoperability: A capability framework for government managers, provides as a practical guide for those government managers responsible for turning interoperability goals into real capabilities. The paper presents a framework for governments as they move beyond a new vision of government to the reality. The framework focuses first on understanding the capabilities needed to develop and manage (i.e., plan, select, control, and evaluate) initiatives to improve interoperability among government agencies and their partners. Second, it determines the right mix of capabilities needed to share information across a network of organizations. The framework is provided for immediate use by government managers to assess existing and needed capabilities for improving government interoperability.

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