Idaho launches new Internet site

Idaho launched a new state World Wide Web site last week, a portal for access to many electronic government services.

Access Idaho, www.accessidaho.org, replaces the state's old site and is designed to provide e-government services for state and local government. No e-government services are offered now, but many are planned.

"The portal was designed to move forward, so citizens and business can use the site and use e-government applications," said Access Idaho's general manager Scott Somerhalder.

Somerhalder said the department is holding meetings with state agencies to look at possible e-government applications. Some that are planned include state business searches, well-drilling permits and fuel tax applications.

"Our priority [is] the services that will have the biggest impact," he said.

The Web portal is designed to be the central site for all government services, so residents can easily find what they are looking for instead of having to search agencies' individual Web sites.

Currently, the site offers a calendar where all agency meetings will be posted. Users will be able to search the calendar by date or agency. A "How Do I?" function serves as a keyword search for frequently asked questions, posted by individual agencies.

Idaho collaborated on the site with the Idaho Information Consortium, a subsidiary of the National Information Consortium, which provides similar portals to various other states.

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