NIC gets room to operate in Montana
- By Eric Kulisch
- Jan 07, 2001
Montana technology officials propose to reduce the cost of new e-government
services by sharing resources with a contractor.
The state recently chose NIC to develop and operate online applications.
Officials in Montana's Information Services Division were to offer NIC space
to house equipment in the division's data center, said Jeff Brandt, ISD's
manager for policy and planning services bureau.
The space-sharing idea is a departure from normal NIC practice. The
company's standard procedure is to open a local office near the seat of
state or local government, said Chris Neff, NIC's marketing director. By
renting space from the state for servers and other equipment, the company
can save on telecommunications and support costs and avoid configuring
a separate facility to meet its power and security needs, Brandt said.
Montana guaranteed NIC access to four databases that will anchor the
first wave of online services. "We had to do that so the vendors looking
at this could see that there is enough transaction volume" potential here,
Brandt said. NIC will be able to tie its front-end software into other databases
in the future.
The initial databases, scheduled to be available to the public on May
14, include records on drivers, property appraisals, corporation filings
and professional and occupational licensing. There may be a convenience
fee charged for these record searches, which predominantly benefit businesses,
A governing board will determine the fee structure, but citizens will
likely not pay extra for transactions such as renewing a driver's license,
he said. A portion of the fees will go toward enabling other government
services to use the Internet.
In addition, the state unveiled its redesigned site (www.discoveringmontana.com/css/default.asp)
Nov. 20 as part of a yearlong effort to enhance its online presence. The
site is arranged according to broad categories of interest to make navigation