Bill Green won’t give up on dream of all electronic governance

Councilman Bill Green.

In what once again seems to fit into prep work for a future mayoral bid, Councilman Bill Green laid out yet another broad vision for the way City Hall operates: this time with legislation introduced Thursday pertaining to the city’s information infrastructure

“Basically, the bills require any transaction inside or outside the city to be able to be conducted in an electronic format and for every field and department to have an electronic database that is searchable,” he said Thursday.

City forms, license and permit applications and service requests could all be completed online, along with the payment of bills, taxes and fees.

Green hired urban planner Todd Baylson to work on the initiative.

“There are three constituencies who are interested in an open government system,” Baylson said. “There are groups that want transparency, groups that want business opportunities and those with the idea that this could improve the way the government functions. We are going to attack this on all three sides.”

Baylson said that the legislation would make cross-departmental information available in a centralized, searchable and public database. This would allow businesses with advanced technologies to analyze the information and encourage synergy between city departments.

“Something like geographical information systems technology could allow multiple departments to communicate about the same place in the same language and realize, for instance, money is being spent there disparately without maximum impact,” he said.

Green said the system could save the city $200 million a year because it would eliminate the need for space to house paper-based records and employees to monitor them.

Pushing Nutter

The Councilman has tried tackling City Hall’s information processing system before.
The new bills mandate that the city finance director submit a five-year plan for the implementation of a paperless system to City Council along with the budget.
Green noted that he unsuccessfully pushed similar legislation two years ago, but last year the mayor issued an executive order requiring a five-year plan.
“Hopefully, they’ll be receptive,” Green said. “But it’s probably unlikely because they don’t like to be required to present things that are subject to approval.”


Boston Strong: One year on from Boston Marathon…

  For more than a century the Boston Marathon has been an even centred around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there's no denying the face…


Monday is the deadline to register for Pennsylvania…

If residents want to vote in the May primary, which includes a vote for a new City Council member, today is the deadline to register.


Miss America thinks school should reconsider discipline of…

A Pa. student was suspended for asking Miss America to prom.


Aria Health Torresdale workers caught selling prescription drugs

Two Aria Health at Torresdale employees were fired amid accusations they sold prescription drugs out of the Northeast Philadelphia campus.


‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."


'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…


Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…


Ray Emery steps up in Flyers’ Game 2…

Sure, he allowed two goals in the Rangers’ first four shots Sunday afternoon, but it’s about how you start, not how you finish.


Flyers come from behind, even series with Rangers

The Flyers overcame a two-goal deficit to get a much-needed win at Madison Square Garden Sunday.


Phillies get set for four against the Dodgers

The Phillies will face tough starting pitching out west against the Dodgers this week.


Phillies notebook: Cole Hamels returns this week

The Phillies should receive a big boost when Cole Hamels returns during the Dodgers series.


Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…


Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…


Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…


4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.