Ariz. Residents Have Say on State Web Site

Arizona's Government Information Technology Agency recently used online

ballots to gauge what residents wanted on the state's World Wide Web site.

During March and April, residents registered their preferences for online

services, including renewing driver's licenses; Internet voting; ordering

birth, death and marriage certificates; and paying taxes and parking tickets.

The ballot was part of a larger plan to create a Web portal that would

direct users to a particular state or local government agency, depending

on what service the user needs.

Arizona chief information officer John Kelly said that although he always

felt governments must tailor functions for constituents, "I [came] to realize

that no one was asking the customers what they wanted."

After having agency personnel vote on what services they thought would

be helpful to residents, he decided it would be useful to ask the residents

directly.

"Of all the things that can be done next, it's important to set priorities

about what is possible and what is wanted," he said.

Susan Patrick, the strategic communications manager at the technology

agency, said the benefits are greater than simply helping constituents.

"If a transaction can be done online, it can cut office time," she said.

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