Sharing Economy, Marijuana and Drones Top List of Emerging State and Local Government Regulatory Concerns for 2017

Civic Leaders and Government Officials Reveal Challenges, Opportunities in Accela 2016 State of Civic Tech Survey; Raw Data Accessible on Accela CivicData

San Ramon, Calif. – October 18, 2016Accela, the leading provider of cloud-based productivity and civic engagement solutions for government, today released the findings from its inaugural State of Civic Tech survey, noting more than half of all respondents believe regulation of marijuana, sharing economy services, like Airbnb and Uber, and drones are of utmost importance. The survey also revealed insights on open data, trust in government, and challenges facing government workforce recruitment. Accela has listed the survey raw data on its free Open Data platform, CivicData.

“Understanding how technology and innovation is shaping government continues to be a focus for government officials and entrepreneurs alike,” said Mark Jung, Chairman and acting CEO of Accela. “At this year’s conference, we felt it was important for us to gain a better understanding of the current and emerging issues our customers are facing in order for us to better deliver the products and services that will meet their needs. In our industry it’s critical to keep your finger on the pulse of the challenges communities are facing. The results of the Accela State of Civic Tech survey highlight trends that will ultimately help propel the civic tech industry as a whole.”

Administered this Fall at Accela Engage—the company’s largest, annual convergence of civic tech industry thought leaders, customers and influencers—the State of Civic Tech survey polled 293 government attendees to more collectively understand the issues local government agencies are currently grappling with, in addition to top-of-mind civic concerns for 2017. Of those surveyed, 70% were government IT professionals, analysts and engineers, 30% held C-level, director and manager titles within their respective jurisdictions.

“Accela’s State of Civic Tech survey findings further emphasize the importance for government officials and citizens coming together to build a future that ensures the efficiency of government, as well as its ability to respond to a variety of emerging issues, both known and unknown,” said Tim Woodbury, Director of Government Relations at Accela.

Key Findings of the Accela State of Civic Tech survey include:

Primary regulatory concerns to hit government agencies in 2017

  • 30% of government respondents are most concerned with regulating the sharing economy; including housing services like Airbnb and ride services like Uber and Lyft
  • 21% of government respondents are focused on regulating recreational and medical marijuana, if legalized within their jurisdiction
  • 19% of government respondents are not only focused on how to regulate the sharing economy and marijuana but also commercial drone use within their jurisdictions

Challenges plaguing government employees that stifle job efficiency

  • 33% of government respondents believe they do not have enough time to get their job done and innovate on new processes, technologies
  • 32% of respondents believe their biggest job challenge is disparate communication between their agency departments

Open Data has the potential to improve engagement between state/local governments and citizens

  • 95% of government respondents strongly believe this statement to be true

Government employees are divided on whether they believe their citizens trust them and their jurisdiction

  • 57% of government respondents (strongly) believe that citizens trust them
  • 30% of government respondents (strongly) believe citizens DO NOT trust them

And even more divided on whether they are currently doing enough to increase citizen trust

  • 45% of government respondents (strongly) agree that their jurisdiction is doing enough to increase citizen trust
  • 43% of government respondents DO NOT believe their jurisdiction is doing enough to increase citizen trust

With baby boomers approaching retirement, millennials are the next generation to tackle government inefficiencies and work to increase citizen trust in a tech-driven society. Yet, how can local government agencies best attract millennials (persons aged 18-34) into the government workforce?

  • 44% of government respondents believe governments must increase social media engagement, more frequently attend college career days, and adopt more technology to engage to encourage and inspire millennials to join government agencies