statistics—and concluded with the publication of two summary reports.1 The second phase of the project, which is currently being completed, synthesizes what was learned in the two workshops, information gleaned from other published work examining IT research and e-government, and inputs gathered in the course of two data-gathering meetings and supplemental individual interviews.

This letter is based on the committee’s two previously published workshop reports, as well as other relevant CSTB publications on the evolution and impacts of computer science research and the application of IT in government.2 The committee’s findings based on this work are as follows:

  1. Realizing the potential of e-government that has been demonstrated in early efforts will require addressing implementation issues, resolving shorter-term technology issues, and conducting research on longer-term challenges.

  2. While government can in many cases build on technology developed for the commercial sector, targeted computer science research is needed where government leads demand or has special requirements.

  3. Providing a sound foundation for e-government and other applications of information technology throughout society will depend on ensuring a continuing, broad federal computer science research program.

  4. Challenging computer scientists to address real-world problems in the government sphere can stimulate interactions benefiting researchers, who need access to computer and information artifacts and realistic contexts, and government agencies, which gain expertise and insights that can inform and improve their IT acquisition and management and research results that can be applied in government and elsewhere.

These findings are developed below.


Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, National Research Council, 1999, Summary of a Workshop on Information Technology Research for Crisis Management, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.; and Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, National Research Council, 2000, Summary of a Workshop on Information Technology Research for Federal Statistics, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.


This letter report was reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: John H. Gibbons, Former Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Former Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy; Bruce W. McConnell, McConnell International, LLC; Arati Prabhakar, U.S. Venture Partners; and Robert Sproull, Sun Microsystems Laboratories. The review of this report was overseen by Samuel H. Fuller, Analog Devices, and William G. Howard, Jr., independent consultant. Appointed by the NRC, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the NRC.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement