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[Vox-Outreach] Pinging govt places about GTC
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[Vox-Outreach] Pinging govt places about GTC

Hi all,
Date: Fri, 2 May 2003 02:31:38 -0700
From: Bill Kendrick <nbs@sonic.net>
To: LUGOD Outreach <vox-outreach@lists.lugod.org>
Subject: [Vox-Outreach] Pinging govt places about GTC
Reply-To: vox-outreach@lists.lugod.org

My friend John worked on a government tech. magazine, so I asked him if
he knew any good places to contact about the Government Tech. Conference
we'll be at.

Here's the list.  I've put "*"s next to ones that I think would be
especially good to get a flyer or some other info. out to:

  Administrative Hearings
  Energy Management
* Executive Office
  Fiscal Services
  Fleet Administration
  Human Resources
  Legal Services
* Legislation
* Procurement
  Public School Construction
  Real Estate Services
  Risk and Insurance Management
* Statewide eGovernment Initiatives Office   <-- ESPECIALLY this one [1]
  Small Business & DVBE Certification
  State Architect
* State Publishing
* Telecommunications

What do people think?  A lot of these seem to have the same address, BTW,
so sending one copy would PROBABLY suffice, unless we really wanted to
stand out to them.  (See "*"'d ones, above :) )

[1] http://www.einitiatives.dgs.ca.gov/default.html
This is a topic I am quite interested in.

I talked to one official in the state who told me that there are about 175 agencies in the state. Each has quite a bit of autonomy as far as IT goes. The state fairly decentralized most authority for purchasing. However, I would expect a lot of resistance from the legal departments of all these agencies because they have not thought of how open source fits in with risk management.

Contacting these agencies now, before the June budget deadline is good timing. According to the recent news, many of the state people may be working for minimum wage while the budget issues get sorted out. They will doubtless be in the mood to save money in an area not associated with salaries.

There are 300,000 state employees. If they were to cut the $100 annual licensing cost for Microsoft Office out of the budget by switching to open source it could save up to $30 million per year. Not to mention that fact that counties and special districts would all follow suit to help their budgets. Of course there are many other well tested open standards based applications the state agencies could authorize internal IT groups to use such as Apache, Bind, SendMail...

There is a growing collection of studies on the use of open source in government both here and abroad that should be brought to the state's attention at all levels. Here is a link to a site that has a nice collection. http://www.asiaosc.org/enwiki/page/Ideas_for_OSS_policy.html

Is anyone trying to develop a list of contacts in the state? Many government employees are fairly accessible by a local phone call. How about elected representatives and appointed officials?

Is such a project the group is willing to spend time on?

If not, realize every citizen has an obligation to support the government besides just taxes. In my opinion, calling up state people and engaging in constructive dialog about open source is a form of support.

Recording the results of conversations where state employees express interest would be a good start at dialog. If we were to share the phone numbers of interested agencies/officials we could avoid some duplication and focus where we may get results. Perhaps a published scorecard ranking the better prospects?

At the very least, we should be get peoples cards at the GTC conference and put them in a database for followup by those who have the time and interest. Realize it usually takes many contacts before most people 'buy' andything regardless of price. However, the contacts do not have to be by the same person.

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