NIC, AOL revamping Government Guide

NIC and America Online Inc., are poised to announce a partnership to build a national e-government guide for state government services and applications.

AOL's current Government Guide is being redesigned and will be launched in mid-October with an enhanced navigational structure and state government content provided by NIC, said Kevin Childress, chief financial officer at the Overland Park, Kan.-based company.

"This will (allow) consumers and citizens to interface (with government) in all 50 states, and it's free to taxpayers," Childress said, adding that NIC, has application agreements with 23 states and portal partnerships with 12 states. "It will bring AOL's 65 million users to government which is reflective of our philosophy."

The first phase of the new Government Guide will include access to civic information and basic state government services. Future phases will include enhanced transaction capabilities, including motor vehicle services, birth certificate requests and tax payment applications.

"Government Guide has been so successful because we organize government information according to the needs of our citizens," said Kathleen deLaski, director of political and government programming at AOL. "We are happy to work with NIC to expand access to e-government services to the state level for our members."

The NIC-AOL agreement is for three years. The two companies will split advertising revenues in half, while NIC will keep a "vast majority" of any transaction fees but will pay Dulles, Va.-based AOL a "modest carriage and promotion fee in cash and stock," Childress said.

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