Michigan revs up e-gov
- By Eric Kulisch
- Jan 01, 1990
Michigan has made great strides in Web service delivery during the past
five months, and officials in charge of e-government applications say they
have just begun to make government more accessible to citizens.
When Stephanie Comai accepted Gov. John Engler's appointment May 1 to
head the new e-Michigan office, the state's Web site (www.state.mi.us) consisted
primarily of an alphabetical list of state agencies. Now, agencies are grouped
by user-friendly categories, such as business services and education.
Under Michigan's "more wholistic approach to service," citizens will
be guided to all the information they need to complete a particular transaction,
Comai said. All state agencies and departments eventually will share common
Web navigation systems and designs.
Three new e-government applications illustrate the state's commitment
to convenient e-government:
* Beginning early next month, most hunters and fishermen can get their
licenses online from the Department of Natural Resources, Comai said.
* The MiBid auction site for surplus state property, abandoned and unclaimed items,
and property seized by the state has drawn interest from as far away as
Honolulu, said Susan Schaeffer, deputy press secretary for Engler. The Office
of Support Services within the Department of Management and Budget normally
holds weekday auctions a couple of times a month in Lansing. Although those
events will continue, Comai said, a wider audience now will have access
to posted items, which include such things as 1,000 disposable razors (minimum
bid $5), an archery compound bow (minimum bid $50) or a 1994 Harley-Davidson
motorcycle (minimum bid $7,000).
* About 50 users from the departments of State, State Police and Corrections
are starting to use an online procurement program, dubbed MiBuy, to select
goods from 10 suppliers whose catalogs have been converted to an electronic
MiBid and MiBuy are six-month pilot programs. MiBid is run by Bidland
Systems, San Diego, for a small fee based on the final price of an item.
"The transaction fee is lower than what we pay to auctioneers at a state
auction, and we'll get better prices," Comai said.
Epylon Corp., San Francisco, is configuring and hosting the MiBuy site
at no charge.
When the programs go full-scale, new contracts will be negotiated, Comai