From the office of Gov. Kaine: Governor Timothy M. Kaine announced today that Virginia’s official state portal Web site, www.virginia.gov, has been named first in the nation among the 50 states in the Center for Digital Government’s annual Best of the Web program. This prestigious honor follows an extensive redesign of the Web portal, which […]
From the office of Gov. Kaine: Governor Timothy M. Kaine announced today that Virginia’s official state portal Web site, www.virginia.gov, has been named first in the nation among the 50 states in the Center for Digital Government’s annual Best of the Web program. This prestigious honor follows an extensive redesign of the Web portal, which uses colorful imagery to invite participation in online services and features new “Web 2.0” functionality to enhance the user experience. The new Web site design went live in June of this year.
“Across Virginia, we are using information technology to develop innovative and cost effective tools that improve customer service and support our management and business processes,” Governor Kaine said. “These awards demonstrate our commitment to improving citizen service and smarter management of state government.”
Virginia also received two 2008 Digital Government Achievement Awards (DGAA) from the Center. The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy’s e-forms initiative and the Department of Taxation’s telework initiative both received the prestigious awards, and the City of Newport News also was honored for its Open eGov program.
Virginia’s state portal has been ranked in the top five of the Best of the Web standings every year that it has been eligible to compete; it has been ranked first once before, in 2002, and did not compete the following year according to competition rules. In 2007, the Commonwealth site was ranked third.
“Effective use of digital government tools on our state Web portal makes it easier for users to conduct their business with government and provides measurable cost and personnel efficiencies,” said Lem Stewart, Chief Information Officer of the Commonwealth. “This prestigious endorsement of our efforts by the Center for Digital Government is a win for the citizens of the Commonwealth.”
The state Web portal is developed and managed through a public-private partnership between the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) and Virginia Interactive, a Richmond-based wholly owned subsidiary of eGovernment firm NIC (Nasdaq: EGOV).
The updated Web site combines the best of its existing award-winning features with a stylish new look and cutting-edge functionality improvements that provide new ways to access Virginia.gov through Web 2.0 social networking platforms. The clean and open design incorporates a prominent, colorful focal point and an “eGovernment carousel” that clearly invites user participation in online services. A “Stay Connected” area provides quick and easy access to Live Help, podcasts, and the Virginia government YouTube channel. Virginia widgets are new mini applications that can be added to and shared from blogs and other social networking sites such as Facebook and iGoogle.