Ezgov launches nationwide portal

Ezgov.com on Tuesday unveiled a nationwide World Wide Web portal that provides direct links to government services at the federal, state and local levels, including tax information, election data and applications that enable citizens to pay parking tickets and conduct other transactions online.

The Atlanta-based company's co-founder, Bryan Mundy, also announced that former U.S. Rep. Jack Kemp (R-N.Y.) and former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo had joined its board of directors, which already included former Georgia Gov. Zell Miller and others. "Starting today, government is accessible to every citizen in the United States and every business," Mundy said.

Ezgov.com enables users to search a jurisdiction from the federal to the local level by entering a ZIP code and then surfing through the site, which includes numerous applications with which users can pay parking and traffic tickets, buy stamps, search for property deeds and renew automobile registrations. "Less than one-half of 1 percent of these transactions are [currently] available online," said ezgov.com co-founder Ed Trimble. "But we are using the Internet to reinvent government."

The company has established sites in Dekalb County, Ga., and Summit County, Ohio. However, numerous jurisdictions, including Washington, D.C., are listed but do not yet offer any services. Mundy said he pans to work with the district and other municipalities and expects to add "five to 10 jurisdictions a week" to the portal in the near future.

The ezgov.com portal is available free of charge. The company plans to make money through advertising and through transaction fees, ranging from $1 to $5, that they will negotiate on an individual basis with government agencies, Mundy said.

"This is about empowering people," Kemp said. "In an Internet century [that] requires people [to] go online, [ezgov.com] makes government services more efficient," he said, adding that government agencies at all levels need to develop an online strategy or they risk alienating their constituents. "[Ezgov.com] isn't everything, but without an Internet strategy, everything becomes nothing."

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