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An assessment of computer technology in U.S. local governments


This paper presents a broad, current assessment of the use and impacts of computers and electronic data processing in the larger municipal and county governments of the United States. It is based on extensive data gathered by a major research project which has involved both case-studies in forty cities and a large census survey of urban local governments in cities with greater than 50,000 population and counties with greater than 100,000 population. Three general themes arc explored: (1) the current 'state-of-the-art' of computer technology in local government, including general profiles of the governments using EDP, the characteristic administrative arrangements for providing the EDP function, and the types of uses to which EDP has been applied; (2) the impact of computers on local governments, particularly in the areas of operational performance, coordination and control, and local planning; and (3) critical issues currently facing local government in the effective utilization of EDP, including development and management of computer technology, technology transfer and privacy protection. © 1978.

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