A Preconference Look at Florida Web Sites

Article excerpt

As thousands of GFOA members head to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for the association's 1997 annual conference, many of them may have consulted with area Web sites to find out how to spend free time or to plan a vacation. In addition to the helpful hints for tourists, Florida Web sites provide much information of interest to finance officials in the state and across the country. This article profiles a few of those sites.

Florida Communities Network: A Winner http://fcn.state.fl.us

In late 1996, the Florida Communities Network (FCN) won the first annual "Best of the Web" contest sponsored by Government Technology; State Technologies, Inc.; Public Technology, Inc.; the International City/County Management Association; and the University of California-Davis Institute of Governmental Affairs. One look at the site and its easy to see why it is considered the best state site: its comprehensive approach provides information about all aspects of the state government.

"One-stop centers" link visitors to information on business development, design and construction, international trade, purchasing, science and technology, and tourism. Other centers include an education center, agriculture center, employment office, senior center, health center, and a law library. The purchasing center is described in the article on page 42. The employment center provides not only a job vacancy system for state government jobs but also a listing of private-sector jobs in Florida. An on-line job application system allows users to save their application information online, which saves time when applying for later government openings. Users can also download and print state job application forms.

The "Access to Government" page (see sidebar) is divided into two sections: government services and state agencies. The services section offers a government information locator service; taxation information, including downloadable forms; law enforcement data, including Florida's most wanted and a missing-children clearinghouse; a regulation section, which includes a professional license search and an alcohol and tobacco delinquencies search; and an elections section. Twenty-five state agencies can be accessed on-line. The department of revenue provides a section on state taxes with an abbreviated tax guide, a list of frequently asked questions, guidance on how to register a business or nonprofit organization, and a top-10 list of common registration and filing errors. Citizens can download several tax forms. The comptroller's on-line section includes on-line access to the comprehensive annual financial report and information on state spending, assets and liabilities, and Florida's financial industry. …