Revamped Internet portal allows citizens to discover N.D.
- By Daniel Keegan
- Jun 09, 2000
North Dakota has joined the statewide Internet portal craze, opening "DiscoverND,"
which unlike most portals was not outsourced and charges no transaction
Like other Internet portals, DiscoverND is organized
by category instead of government organization so that people can easily
find the information they need.
"We offer citizens the opportunity to use intuitive terms to work with the
state without needing to know how the state government is organized," chief
information officer Curt Wolfe said.
The site includes a state agency search engine, news, weather and road reports,
employment listings, a children's page and online access to business-registration
forms, in addition to the general category links that lead people to agencies.
Those categories include education, business, employment, government, and
health and safety.
The site cost $15,000 and was paid by the CIO's office, Wolfe said. Bucking
a trend to contract the creation of the World Wide Web portal to the private
sector and recoup the losses through transaction fees, Wolfe said he expects
the department to continue to manage the site.
The "e-commerce team" that created the site decided North Dakota was
equipped to handle the site and that trying to outsource the project and
charge transactions fees would not be accepted because many of the state's
positions are elected.
Wolfe said the site is only in its beginning stages, with more features
to be added. Although vehicle registration will not be available until 2001
because the state system is being revamped, other possibilities are applications
for health programs, tax forms, and hunting and fishing licenses.