Work is going Google.
Panama City promotes open government with Google Apps
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Editor’s note: Today our guest blogger is Richard Ferrick, Network Administrator for Panama City, Florida, one of the first governments in the country to adopt Google Apps for Government. Join Richard for a
live chat on GovLoop
this Thursday, December 2 at 2pm ET / 11am PT / 6pm GMT.
Panama City, Florida is a beautiful resort destination on Florida’s Emerald Coast; our white sand beaches attract vacationers year round. We’re also home to 37,000 residents who care a lot about open access to their local government. Our city government makes it a priority to make our operations transparent to citizens, businesses, and visitors alike. At the same time, with a three-person IT department supporting nearly 250 city employees, finding ways to work smarter and conserve funds is essential.
Google Apps has freed our IT team from maintaining email servers and updating websites to focus on important transparency initiatives. We started with a 50-employee pilot of Google Apps in 2007 and gave all city employees the Google email and collaboration tools in 2008. Earlier this year, we became one of the first users of
Google Apps for Government
to take advantage of its government-specific security measures.
We decided to move
our public facing website
to Google Sites after experiencing a catastrophic server crash with our old site this spring. We were happy with our previous website, but now we like our site even more. Google empowers people in other city departments to update the website with ease. For example, major changes are underway for Panama City’s Comprehensive Plan. Planning staff post announcements, updates and amendments as they happen. Human resources adds new job postings and other departments collect input from residents using a simple form. IT no longer needs to make every update ─ and when we do, it can be from anywhere. This keeps the website more current and saves valuable time. Plus, we’ve had a lot of compliments from citizens who say everything is easy to find.
Google Apps also simplifies finding information to respond to public records requests. The state puts a high priority on the public's right of access to government information. This daunting task is now simplified with the email archiving capabilities of Google Message Discovery. What would take hours for a single request now takes minutes.
What’s more, mobility limitations for the staff are now a thing of the past. Previously, employees were forced to use a VPN connection and remote desktop. With Google Apps, no VPN is required. Some staff even access Apps securely from personal mobile devices. Employee productivity is at an all time high.
With time savings like these, our IT staff has more time to focus on open government initiatives. In 1967, the state passed the “Sunshine Law” establishing a basic right of access to most public government meetings. This used to mean people could attend these meetings in person, but that isn’t always practical. We wanted to make the proceedings more broadly accessible. So, we added live streaming of all public meetings to pcgov.org. Then we set up
our own YouTube channel
, making past meetings readily available to the public. We will also start testing video chat for use during city meetings, and look for more ways we can use Google Apps to open up our government.
Please join Thursday’s
live chat on GovLoop
to learn more.
by Richard Ferrick, Network Administrator / Web Development, Panama City, Florida
Posted by Dan Israel, Google Apps for Government Team
Android for Work
Android for Work Live
Armed Forces Day
Chomebox for Meetings
Chrome for Business
Chrome for Work
Chromebooks for Business
Chromebooks for Education
Chromebooks for Work
Chromebox for digital signage
Chromebox for meetings
Chromebox for signage
cloud computing gonegoogle
cloud computing gonegoogle Google Apps
cloud computing gonegoogle Google Apps google docs small business success story
cloud computing gonegoogle Google Apps google docs small business success story switch
Cloud Platform Live
data processing amendment
Digital Learning Day
Drive for Education
earth and maps
Education on Air
Global Partner Summit
Google App Engine
Google Apps Blog
Google Apps for Business
Google Apps for Education
Google Apps for Government
Google Apps for Work
Google Apps Marketplace
Google Apps Reseller
Google Apps Script
Google Apps Vault
Google Calendar app
Google Certified Teachers
Google Cloud Datastore
Google Cloud DNS
Google Cloud Platform
google cloud storage
google commerce search
Google Compute Engine
Google Drive for Work
Google Earth Engine
Google Earth Enterprise
Google Earth Images
Google Earth Pro
Google Email Security and Archiving
Google Enterprise Search
Google for Education
Google for Education Partner Program
Google for Education Training Center
Google for Entrepreneurs
Google for Work
Google for Work and Google for Education Partner Program
Google for Work partner program
Google Maps API
Google Maps APIs
Google Maps Coordinate
Google Maps Engine
Google Maps Engine Pro
Google Maps Engine public data program
Google Maps for Business
Google Maps for Work
Google Maps Gallery
Google Maps Tracks API
Google Message Continuity
google message security
Google My Maps
Google My Maps Pro
Google Places API
google play for education
Google Prediction API
Google Research tool
Google Science Fair
Google Search Appliance
Google Security Key
Google Site Search
Google Smart Lock
Google Storage for Developers
GSA for Commerce
Hangout on Air
Hangouts on Air
hints and tips
Inbox by Gmail
Mapping a better world
model contract clauses
Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition
Safer Internet Day
Small Business Week
spam and security trends
Transport and Logistics
University of Calgary
Veteran Owned Businesses
Veterans Day 2013
Veterans Day 2014
women in tech
Women's History Month
Now available with Google Apps: Google Alerts
Improving team collaboration and productivity with...
Google Apps Marketplace - Project Management highl...
Panama City promotes open government with Google A...
Now available with Google Apps: AdWords
Z Gallerie goes Google and moves its 55 retail sto...
Optional attendees in Google Calendar
Extra Credit: What more can you do with Apps for ...
Now available with Google Apps: Google Finance
Now available with Google Apps: Blogger
Live Webinar: Jaguar Land Rover’s journey to the c...
Google Apps for Education professional development...
Now available with Google Apps: Google Voice
A bridge to the cloud: Google Cloud Connect for Mi...
Now available with Google Apps: Google Reader
Australia's Flight Centre and Ray White have gone ...
Google Apps shared contacts, now with double the c...
Ten times more applications for Google Apps custom...
Editing your Google Docs on the go
Spyder follows the snow, pushes the limits, and li...
Google Earth Enterprise customer honored for gover...
Security First - A Chat with Google Apps Security ...
Larimer County Moves to Google Apps in Just 3 Days...
Migrating from Lotus Notes® just got easier
Going Google across the 50 States: Two California-...
Google Site Search is polishing its pricing struct...
Ireland's Belle and Rollo goes Google
How much is faster collaboration worth to business...
Update to Google Maps in Europe, Africa, Australia...
More than 2,000 solution providers embrace Google’...
Google Apps Marketplace welcomes 8 new integrated ...
Google Apps Adventures: Into the Fire with Nationa...
Writing a campaign speech with Google Docs
Live webinar on cloud-based CRM apps built for you...
Hear about best practices for moving to Google App...
New service activity graphs in the Google Apps con...
Passing the torch to the cloud: NYU is going Googl...
Subscribe by email
Google Cloud Platform
Official Google Blog
Public Policy Blog
Lat Long Blog
Ads Developer Blog
Android Developers Blog