Company builds e-gov portal for Denver

A private company has partnered with The Denver Post to build a World Wide

Web site to give Denver-area residents access to government services.

Denver's CITeCenter site will be launched July 1, with e-government applications

slowly brought online. The portal will be run by Hansen Information Technologies

Inc., which provides similar services to the Sacramento, Calif., metropolitan

area.

CITeCenter will not be linked directly to city systems but the site will

forward transactions to the city to carry out. For example, if a resident

files a complaint on CITeCenter about a pothole, Hansen will forward that

information to the city.

Byron West, Denver's director of television and Internet services, said

the city has no intentions of tying in its services with the site, saying

third-party companies that come between the people and government "weaken

governance."

"We're moving in the direction we need to move, and our resources are targeted

to provide e-services to Denver citizens," West said, saying that the city

was confident with the efforts of the its site (www.denvergov.org).

Scott Burkhart, the general manager of Hansen's Internet Services Division,

said CITeCenter will not compete with Denver's official site but will instead

allow users to access the whole metropolitan area in addition to just the

city.

"For many people that live or work in a metro area, they often don't know

the boundaries of who to contact," he said. The site will support six counties — Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Douglas, Jefferson and Weld — and 25 other communities.

At Hansen's CITeCenter Web portal (www.citecenter.com), users choose a city

and are presented with a page that indicates services offered, including

paying parking tickets, requesting services and reporting problems such

as potholes and broken lights.

An interactive map enables people to pinpoint a specific area, making it

easier for them to locate a problem. People often report that a problem

is "at the lot next to my house," for example, but do not leave their address,

Burkhart said. "You can get a lot of complaints and not know that it is

from the same place."

If agencies do not want to tie into Hansen's system, as West indicated,

Hansen will provide them with an electronic recording of the transactions

to complete themselves, Burkhart said.

Hansen has partnered with The Denver Post and other local newspapers so

they can put content on the site and so that people can link to the portal

from some of the more heavily accessed Web pages in the region.

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