User fees hurt e-gov

City governments have made dramatic gains in putting information and services online in the past year, but they tend to rely too heavily on user fees and premium services that ultimately may limit user access, according to a report released last month by Brown University.

The authors recommended that government officials consider the ramifications of reliance on for-fee services that might create a "two-class" society of information haves and have-nots.

The study found that 11 percent of city government Web sites charge user fees to execute particular online services, while 2 percent have premium sections requiring payment for entry. Two percent of sites have commercial advertising, and 8 percent have restricted areas requiring user names and passwords to access.

The study was conducted by the Taubman Center for Public Policy at Brown in Providence, R.I. The findings are based on an analysis of 1,567 city government Web sites in the 70 largest metropolitan areas.

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here


  • Dive into our Contract Award database

    In an exclusive for WT Insider members, we are collecting all of the contract awards we cover into a database that you can sort by contractor, agency, value and other parameters. You can also download it into a spreadsheet. Our databases track awards back to 2013. Read More

  • Navigating the trends and issues of 2016 Nick Wakeman

    In our latest WT Insider Report, we pull together our best advice, insights and reporting on the trends and issues that will shape the market in 2016 and beyond. Read More

contracts DB

Washington Technology Daily

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.