The Community Information Utility and Municipal Services.

by Edward H. Blum


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Description of how to design and develop a comprehensive computer-based Community Information Utility (CIU) for improving municipal services. Although economic and social pressures--the tendency to reduce the quality of service because of budget constraints and the general feeling that previous computer-based information systems have performed poorly--may discourage a CIU system, numerous applications are noted where such a system could significantly improve municipal service efficiency, effectiveness, and/or equity. Some applications appear feasible for the near-term and could form attractive components of a prototype system--capital investment management and planning, code administration and enforcement, and emergency services management and operations. Future applications, involving more extensive changes in the services provided, include better information and data for judges to use in deciding on dispositions and sentences, comprehensive early fire detection and warning systems, and a check-in system for defendants to provide a realistic and humane substitute for detention prisons. (Published in H. Sackman and B. Boehm (eds.), Planning Community Information Utilities, AFIPS Press, 1972.) (See also P-4895, P-4897, P-4898, P-4899, P-4900, P-4908).

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