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Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk E-Government Conference 2004

City of Seattle E-Government Strategies

Presented by Bruce Blood, Manager, Citywide Web Team, City of Seattle, July 8, 2004

The Vision and Goals

From its creation in 1994 as an online bulletin board called the Seattle Public Access Network (PAN), the City of Seattle's website, now known as Seattle.gov, has been envisioned as a "24 Hour Online City Hall." This vision was confirmed by Seattle City Council Resolution #29563 in 1997. At the same time the Council resolved that:

  • "the City of Seattle is committed to using technology to make government information and services more accessible to its citizens and businesses"
  • "it is very important for the City to maintain one identity on the Internet" and "the City of Seattle will have a single external World Wide Web home page"
  • "web pages created by City departments will comply with some simple graphical standards to maintain a consistent City look and feel"
  • "all servers that connect to the external (Internet) environment... must reside on the part of the City’s network that is protected by the 'firewall'"

In practice three major goals have evolved from this vision:

  • Improve communication between citizens and Seattle city government
  • Eventually make every appropriate City service available on line.
  • Actively respond to citizen/constituent/customer demand

These goals continue to shape the City's e-government strategies.

Growth of Seattle.gov

Seattle.gov has grown to more than 80,000 web pages and over 150,000 files of all kinds. As of May 2004, nearly 1,000,000 visitors view over 2,750,000 pages every month, and since 2000 every City of Seattle department and agency has had a presence on Seattle.gov.

Seattle.gov Hosting and Sevices

The Seattle Department of Information Technology provides a comprehensive Internet hosting platform for the City of Seattle and it's departments/agencies. All of the more than 20 web servers run MS Windows and Internet Information Services(IIS). Hosted services include:

  • web site hosting
  • web application hosting
  • database hosting
  • media streaming
  • mailing lists/bulletin boards/chat
  • web statistics
  • file transfer hub (FTP)

A team of 1 full-time and 2 part-time administrators manage the servers and services.

Staff - Developing and Maintaining Seattle.gov

The main Seattle.gov homepage and top-level portal is the responsibility of the designer/developers on the Citywide Web Team. In addition the CWT helps smaller City departments and agencies design and maintain their webs. Many medium-large departments have dedicated web staff of their own, and overall the equivalent of some 50 positions are dedicated to web development and upkeep.

Policy and Oversight

The Seattle Citywide Web Team is responsible for developing and enforcing most of the standards and policies that govern the operation of Seattle.gov. Part of the City's Department of Information Technology, the CWT is is under the supervision of the Director of Electronic Communications and the City's Chief Technology Officer.

Web policies and standards are subject to review by the Technology Council (City departmental IT directors) and approval by the Business Management Council (City departmental Finance directors).

Current list of Seattle.gov Policies and Standards