New e-government citizen's information software, CPORTAL 2.0 from Fretwell-Downing Informatics (FDI), has been released and rolled out to consortia, councils and chambers of commerce across England. Citizens using websites from Essex County Council, Medway Council, Royal London Borough of Kingston, Doncaster Chamber of Commerce and The West Midlands Local Government Association will benefit from faster thesaurus and Geospatial Information-enabled searches and locally-tuned relevance ranking.
CPORTAL is Fretwell-Downing Informatics' e-Government information integration software for local government and the community.
CPORTAL is designed to enable the public to interact with local authorities more easily and without needing to know how information is organised and which tier of local government, or local group, provides which service.
Helen Leech, Public and Community Information Manager at AboutMedway (www.aboutmedway.info), says, "FDI's CPORTAL enables Medway Council to meet its e-government objective of delivering integrated information about services for the community."
The public can interact with different local governments during the course of a single day. By joining up these services through CPORTAL, citizens have a seamless experience of dealing with local government, whilst CPORTAL delivers increased efficiencies for local authorities. The ongoing drive for councils to achieve better services with less funds, from IEG, CPA and the Gershon efficiency review, means that the need for genuinely integrated services is increasingly business-critical.
Mark Allcock, FDI's e-Government Business Development Manager, says, "CPORTAL 2.0 provides a unique offering for multi-agency searching that presents local information that is both relevance ranked and geo-enabled, alongside information from national providers such as the NHS and LearnDirect. Only CPORTAL offers this in the e-Government marketplace. It is important to our customers that their local information is not lost to the public, as tends to be the case with other search engines."
Helen Leech agrees, "CPORTAL 2.0 brings together local and national information by, for and about Medway and increasingly is allowing us to support local initiatives and meet the information needs of particular groups of people."
CPORTAL is compatible with a range of taxonomies and thesauri including LGCL, GCL, seamlessUK and the new Integrated Public Sector Vocabulary.
FDI's suite of e-Government applications is constantly being updated to meet new demands. A key benefit for FDI's users is the data-mining technology which allows them to import data from off-line databases and documents from file directories as well as to harvest information from websites. FDI is planning releases of new harvesting and data-mining technologies later in 2005.
About Fretwell-Downing Informatics
Fretwell-Downing Informatics has a long history of supplying leading-edge information management solutions to over 250 organisations worldwide. FDI operates from its headquarters in the UK with a US subsidiary, Fretwell-Downing Inc., in North America plus additional offices in Australia and Europe. FDI's experience has resulted in a suite of well-designed, proven solutions for the library, information and e-government markets. Solutions available include single search environments, information portals, library management, resource sharing and document delivery and data publishing. The company's freedom by design philosophy is underpinned by a strong software development team and a commitment to interoperability and open standards. This enables FDI components to be built into a total solution or integrated alongside existing technologies.