Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics & Public Service

Project Prologue

Overview

Governor Leavitt was an early visionary of the technology revolution. He foresaw the power of information technology in re-shaping how government operated. But more importantly he realized how IT could be used as a tool to create new and better relationships with its citizens. Information technology not only promised greater efficiency at a lower cost but also paved the way for government to remake itself into something quite different — a government that was less stodgy and bureaucratic, one that cut “red tape” and changed archaic processes thus enabling innovation to flower. Citizens and agencies were encouraged to be “online” not “in line.”

In 1993 Leavitt set forth this early vision in what came to be known as his “Electronic Highway” address. The address outlined several key challenges:

  1. Change the way we think. To take advantage of new technologies we must discover new ways of doing things;
  2. Focus on using technology as opposed to “bricks and mortar;”
  3. Develop a strategy for electronic government service delivery and then deploy it;
  4. Make public government information and data easily accessible to citizens;
  5. Encourage private sector competition and participation in “building out” the infrastructure for the “electronic highway .” (COOPERATION CALLED KEY TO ELECTRONIC LINKS http://archive.li.suu.edu/docs/ms122/NW/ms122NW19931111b.pdf )

Not only was the address visionary but it contained some very specific examples of things that could be done and the institutional structures needed to accomplish them. Over the next ten years, Utah would establish itself as a leader among digital states. This project report contains a comprehensive timeline outlining the major information technology accomplishments of the Leavitt and Walker adminstrations from 1993-2003 INFORMATION HIGHWAY http://archive.li.suu.edu/docs/ms122/NW/ms122NW19931010d.pdf .

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Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service