Locals Should Develop Portals

Locals Should Develop Portals

Local governments in Virginia should lead the effort to establish portals for their communities regardless of whether they are sponsored by private, public or nonprofit organizations, said a task force established by Virginia Gov. James Gilmore to help bring communities within the state online.

The e-communities task force issued a set of six guiding principles that define the objectives of an e-community March 14 during a meeting in Charlottesville.

The guiding principles are a precursor to the development of a specific blueprint to aid communities in the actual creation and maintenance of a community portal, state officials said.

Local portals are important because citizens do most of their transactions and receive most of their services at the local level, said Don Upson, Virginia's secretary of technology.

The state may eventually make regional hosting centers to facilitate the creation of e-communities throughout the state, he said.

The principles recognize that individuals want to participate in the prosperity of the new economy, local governments are responsible for bringing their community online, and there should be common standards for electronic communities throughout the state.

The principles also state that an electronic community should provide a broad spectrum of services, should be universally accessible and should embrace all cultures and values of the state and nation.

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