Pennsylvania adds power to portal
- By Dibya Sarkar
- Oct 16, 2000
In a continuing effort to make Pennsylvania government "friction-free,"
the state on Oct. 12 debuted a new Internet portal.
The state also plans to spend $20 million over the next several months
on more online services, including renewals of driver's licenses and motor
vehicle registrations and applications for fishing licensees.
The PA PowerPort site is less text-laden
than the previous state site and, according to officials, more user-friendly
"It's an easier format to help you get through what can be a difficult
process," said spokesman Steve Aaron. "This is part of Gov. [Tom] Ridge's
effort to make state government friction-free."
Aaron said Microsoft Corp. donated consulting services to the project,
which has been in development for about the past eight months. Peripherals
Plus Technologies Inc., a Pennsylvania-based Internet company, created the
site. The state also solicited input from the public and businesses.
The state already offers certain services, such as online filing for
individual state tax returns and business taxes. With the portal debut,
it adds several new online features, such as applications for hunting licenses,
government blue pages and a calendar of events linking all state agencies,
said spokesman Scott Elliott.
Elliott said e-government features would be added as they are developed
over the next year.
"We're trying to move at e-speed in developing this," he said, explaining
that an application would go online and be fine-tuned along the way instead
of being perfected before it was offered. "This [site] will be in a constant
state of evolution."
The state's home page includes weather data and lottery results, which
Elliott said are popular. In the next few weeks, the state will enable people
to customize the home page to suit their interests.
The state is also working with local governments to offer a one-stop
shop for citizens when they need to get local and state permits for a particular