A matter of public record

The recent trend to make government more accessible to citizens has spawned many government database projects. This article overviews this trend, highlights problem issues, and offers suggestions for managing these projects effectively. Outsourcing can bring needed skills and expertise to these projects, but the project manager needs to clarify up front the subcontractor's responsibilities, compliance with procurement requirements, and lines of communication. Due to the sensitive nature of much database information, security is another issue, and one made increasingly complex by new privacy and security laws. The actual distribution of information must be considered carefully, and allowances must be made for required government auditing procedures. Experts in key domains such as law or security should be included on the project team, and thought should be given to data preparation. As with any project, strong leadership and support from the top are key factors in success.
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