Regulatory Management

Communication About Technology-Based Innovations Can Be Improved Gao ID: GAO-01-232 February 12, 2001

Federal and state agencies are making extensive use of information technology (IT) to address traditional regulatory management. For example, the Department of Labor has a system of electronic "advisors" imitating the interaction that an individual might have with an employment law expert, and the Environmental Protection Agency is working with partners in state government to develop a national environmental information exchange network. Several of the state innovations include interactive systems that allow regulated entities to identify their regulatory responsibilities and complete related transactions. For example, the Texas Railroad Commission has an electronic process that allows users to obtain oil or gas well permits on-line, complete the required forms, and pay any associated fees. Representatives from nongovernmental organizations suggest that federal agencies improve both the content and access to on-line information, more broadly and consistently use some existing applications, and adopt some new applications. Several key factors that facilitate or hinder the adoption and diffusion of innovative IT applications are (1) top-level leadership commitment/support, (2) adequate financial resources and human capital, (3) legislative and executive branch IT initiatives, (4) internal and external partnerships with critical stakeholders, (5) reengineering of existing business processes, and (6) development of a communication infrastructure.


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