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    NEWS RELEASE
                            Public Communications Division
                            Department of Customer Services
                            City & County of Honolulu
                            523-4385

                                                                                                                      

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 2, 2001

HONOLULU RANKED AS NATION’S TOP DIGITAL CITY

            Mayor Jeremy Harris announced today that Honolulu has been ranked number one of all major cities in the nation’s first study on digital technology in city government, the Digital Cities Survey.  The survey, done by the Center for Digital Government and Government Technology magazine, examined how well cities are using information technology to deliver services to their citizens.

            “I am very proud of this award because it recognizes the innovation and dedication of some very fine people in our information technology department,” the Mayor said.  “To go where we were three years ago to the Web site we have now is a testament to our city’s Information Technology Director Courtney Harrington and his staff.

“When technology did not exist for what they wanted to do, they didn’t let that stop them. They invented the technology.  With limited resources, they have always found a way to meet the challenge.  There is no doubt in my mind that Honolulu has one of the finest information technology departments in the nation and it pleases me to see them get the recognition they deserve.”           

            More than 300 city government offices were invited to participate in the survey, which looked at the types of municipal services online, the forms that are available electronically, what information is offered to the public and how interactive a system is between the public and city officials.  Cities were also asked if they had a chief information officer (C.I.O.) who oversees information technology policies and operations (Honolulu’s  C.I.O. and Information Technology Director is Courtney Harrington), whether law enforcement uses the technology and what role GIS (Geographic Information Systems) play in those efforts.

            Honolulu’s accomplishments are laced throughout city operations.  The Mayor, department heads and City Council members communicate with constituents via e-mail.  The City’s website, http://www.co.honolulu.hi.us/, offers many online forms, such as applications for city employment and certain permits.  Honolulu also developed a “storefront” operation with Satellite City Halls that offer services to people who cannot come to government buildings.

            “Three years ago it seemed obvious to me that we needed to find a better way to serve our customers,”  said Mayor Harris.  “My challenge was to create an ‘electric city’ where people could do their city business from any computer in the world.”

            Honolulu beat out Chicago, New York City, Seattle, Colorado Springs and Houston in the digital government survey.

            The honor is the second affirmation in recent months of the City’s digital excellence. Honolulu’s website was ranked first in August among cities with populations between 250,000 and 500,000 by the Civic Resource Center, a nationally recognized government/internet think tank.  The center ranked Honolulu’s website third overall for all cities.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2002

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