A web initiative aimed at enabling citizens to use technology to improve the quality of their lives by South Dublin County Council picked up the top gong at last night’s Irish eGovernment Awards 2007.
South Dublin County Council’s Connect initiative (http://connect.southdublin.ie/connect) is aimed at enabling citizens to use technology in innovative ways to achieve their goals and make internet content more relevant to local interests.
The panel of judges commented the Connect website for the way it improved public access to services and information in an intuitive away.
For example, the Connect site offers community and voluntary groups a free website of their own while the Connect School pages work with teachers and staff in St Aidan’s Community School in West Tallaght to develop student-centred technology.
“There is a quiet revolution happening under our noses within e-government,” claimed Maeve Kneafsey, one of the awards’ promotors. “These highly innovative projects, right around the country, are revolutionising the way we, the citizens, do our business with the public sector, making it much easier and faster to find information, pay for services, search maps or study planning permissions and so on, all online.
“I would like to ask those who continue to denigrate our public services for not providing a high-quality or value-for-money service to look at the work that is being done, often quietly and behind the scenes, in providing online services.
“Indeed it is time for the Comptroller and Auditor General to assess the costs and benefits of these many and varied initiatives as I have no doubt that the real winner is the taxpayer who is getting an excellent return on their money through the many considerably enhanced service delivered at a very competitive cost,” Kneafsey said.
Other winners in the eGovernment awards were:
1. State Body Irish eGovernment Award
Winner: The Property Registration Authority
2. Commercial State Body Irish eGovernment Award
Winner: Dublin Tourism @ www.visitdublin.com
3. Health Sector Irish eGovernment Award
Winner: Health Service Executive @ www.hselibrary.ie
4. Education Irish eGovernment Award
Winner: Forfas @ www.primaryscience.ie
5. Irish Language Irish eGovernment Award
Winner: Waterford City Council @ www.waterfordcity.ie
6. The Local Irish eGovernment Award
Winner: South Dublin County Council @ http://connect.southdublin.ie/connect
7. The Intranet Irish eGovernment Award
Winner: Meath County Council (internal URL)
8. Project Management Irish eGovernment Award
Winner: Failte Ireland @ www.dublin.ie
9. eAccessibility Irish eGovernment Award
Winner: Mayo County Council
By John Kennedy
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