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Business & Occupational Licensing: 5 Things Every Government Should Expect from their Vendor


(Matthew Thomas / Flickr) It’s no secret that cities and states have an affinity for small businesses. They provide services in areas big box stores might dismiss for lack of size. They pay locals to deliver local goods. They add a sense of originality to localities and are often the key contributors to tax revenues. State and local governments know that enabling business growth enables communities. With this mindset, governments should always be hunting for business and occupational licensing solutions that can simplify the regulatory process so business owners can focus on services instead of paperwork. Unfortunately, finding the right IT vendor can be precarious. Some business and occupational licensing solutions radiate sheer innovation, yet fizzle when paired with poor service agreements and lackluster development plans. Similar to other IT services, selecting a bad licensing vendor can translate to a number of maladies that can include cybersecurity vulnerabilities if security isn't managed well, gaps in...
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7 Tools Your Health Department Must Have



The technologies could aid health departments as they assist first responders and manage critical city assets  A photo of New Orleans, Louisiana, on Sept. 14, 2005, two weeks after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city. Direct damage to the city was estimated at $80 billion. (FEMA / Flickr) Whether it’s a five-alarm fire, an outbreak of disease or a bout of hurricane force winds, cities must be prepared for the unexpected.  This is why many cities are investing in modern disaster resilience initiatives. Leaders are designing strategic plans that incorporate data and automated systems for disaster preparedness and recovery. Cities use these advances to single out gaps in emergency resources, spot vulnerable populations during hazardous incidents and adapt to service disruptions by building extra capacity for critical infrastructure.  In the report Investing in Urban Resilience , the World Bank researchers Valerie-Joy Santo and Josef Leitmann, report that losses associated with natural disaster have...
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Survey Ranks Cybersecurity Top Concern Among County CIOs



The Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties report that cybersecurity is the greatest concern for county CIOs This month the Center for Digital Government (CDG) reported county CIOs top priority in 2018 is cybersecurity, a concern that reflects a growing urgency in government to safeguard systems and data. The CDG findings are part of its annual D igital Counties Survey conducted in partnership with the National Association of Counties (NACo). The survey evaluates counties on their use of technology and best technology practices. After cybersecurity, the top five priorities for CIOs included disaster recovery and continuity of operations, in second; citizen engagement and experience, third; IT staffing, fourth; and transparency, open data and data governance, in fifth (see infographic below). Similar to city and state governments, NACo reports that with counties increasing their use of technology there is a critical need to shield departments from attack....
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Accelarate 2018 Convenes Govtech Thought Leaders to Assist State and Local Governments


  The annual event paints a new vision for Governing the Future and seeks to assist agencies and departments with next generation tools and tactics. The rapid shift in technology, regulation and an upsurge in urban populations are presenting governments with unprecedented challenges. Advances in technology have heightened citizen expectations for 24/7 support and private sector speed. The sharing economy and the legalization of cannabis have stirred new licensing and permitting obstacles; while at the same time, denser neighborhoods have increased pressure on departments to deliver the same services on a larger scale. To aid governments with these and other challenges Accelarate, Accela’s annual govtech conference , will converge innovators from across the public sector in Atlanta on Oct. 10-13 to provide insights and strategies under the theme of Governing the Future. Keynotes, workshops, panel sessions and networking opportunities will explore the current issues affecting government and how leaders can leverage digital...
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Michigan Issues First Medical Marijuana Licenses

medical marijuana
State leadership used Accela's Civic Solution for Cannabis to process the applications This month Michigan achieved a major milestone in cannabis regulation with the release of its first set of medical marijuana licenses. On July 12 the state's Medical "Marihuana" Licensing Board granted licenses to four large grow and transport operations based in Chesaning, Ann Arbor and Lansing. Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) used Accela's Cannabis Solution to process the requests and the hundreds that are still more under review. The state estimates that medical marijuana will become a $700 million industry and a driver of economic development. In an interview with the Detroit Free Press Andrew Brisbo, the director of LARA's Bureau of Medical "Marihuana" Regulation said that the state is eager to begin the next phase of the regulatory process, issuing licenses to additional growers and testing facilities. Issuing licenses to the testing facilities represents...
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Reshaping Image and Credibility through Modernization



  Executive Chairman of Accela Mark Jung talks about the new era of engaged customer service and how governments can seize the moment Mark Jung is the executive chairman of Accela. He has advised the company on strategic initiatives and operations since 2015 and has served as Accela’s executive chairman since 2016. Speaking about the new challenges of changing customer expectations, Jung speaks about how governments can leverage this moment to improve services, save resources and shape perception within the communities they serve. He also shares his thoughts on how governments can adapt to emerging industries such as cannabis, the short-term rentals and how governments can adapt services to adjust to these relatively uncharted markets.  How are the demands on government services shifting with the ubiquitous use of digital tools and platforms? Executive Chairman Mark Jung: We are in the era of customer empowerment where companies adapt quickly to trends...
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