Peter Bennett has immersed himself in municipal government since 1978. Before he became the City of Winnipeg’s manager of information systems in corporate IT, he completed his undergraduate degree in urban and regional planning.
As the lead in the corporate IT department, Bennett deals with city-wide IT initiatives and staffing issues and coordinates information that ends up on the Internet. Currently, the city is engaged in several e-government initatives, among them an online system for reserving library books and checking account status, an online building permit system for registered contractors, a Web site for transit users for bus schedules and some online mapping capabilities.
Technology, Bennett says, has played an important role in the city’s ability to extend services to its citizens, but obstacles remain.
“In any large organizations, trying to come out with a shared vision is also a challenge because it isn’t just one person sitting down and saying, ‘This is what I want and do it,'” he said.