The state of Connecticut’s official website will soon undergo a major modernization process under a self-funded plan that is intended to “increase usability, customer service, transparency and access for its visitors,” according to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
The website, www.ct.gov, operates as a portal to every agency in state government and was created almost 20 years ago.
The update should be funded by non-tax dollars and is intended to “ensure the state’s online presence continues to keep up with technological advances,” Malloy said.
The project will be launched in stages throughout the coming year.
Interactive services, formats for new devices
The ct.gov homepage — re-designed to function on computers, tablets and mobile devices — will be streamlined and organized toward specific users’ needs. The plan is to modify each state agency’s website by creating new interactive services previously unavailable on the state’s portal.
With this innovation, Connecticut residents may soon be able to use the website to submit a smart phone picture to document an unsafe condition, take a mobile practice driver’s license exam, apply for a fishing license, find the nearest government office or polling place, renew a business license, or quickly access needed information from government databases.
The possibilities include any interaction that a member of the public may have with any state office.
Financed by fees for certain users
Through a competitive bid process, the state has signed an agreement with Connecticut Interactive, a wholly owned subsidiary of NIC Inc., to design and manage the web portal.
The public-private partnership will allow the portal to be developed and operated without tax dollars, according to Malloy.
Funding for the program will be generated through modest efficiency fees that are applied to a small subset of the online services, specifically those that fulfill specialized requests by bulk purchasers of government information, such as motor vehicle driver histories.
This type of structure is used in over half the states in the nation to satisfy the growing demand for online services, Malloy said.
Making it business friendly
Malloy said the website will be specifically developed with an eye toward making the user-experience for businesses in the state easier and more interactive.
A top priority is to launch a new Connecticut Business Portal that consolidates the various business-related services and programs provided by different state agencies. A related goal is to introduce many new services to make it easier for the private sector to form, operate and expand businesses in Connecticut.
Company will open office in state
Connecticut Interactive is expected to open an office in Hartford and hire 10 to 12 technology, marketing, and project management professionals, with many of the new employees coming from the local market.
NIC is a provider of official government websites, online services, and secure payment processing services. It has done work for more than 30 state governments, including Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Utah.
Mark Raymond, chief information officer for the state of Connecticut, said the agreement with Connecticut Interactive “increases our focus on the businesses and citizens of the state, making it possible to conveniently do business with the state on whatever device you have and at whatever time of day you wish.”