Minnesota preps services portal
- By Dibya Sarkar
- Jan 16, 2002
By mid-March, the Minnesota state government is planning to unveil a customizable
portal centered on services rather than departments and using an enterprise
That means laying down a comprehensive technology foundation that addresses
various common and shared applications, such as a payment engine, as well
as issues such as security and privacy.
In this way, state agencies can build upon a uniform platform rather
than having to reinvent the wheel each time, said Reggie David, assistant
commissioner for the state Department of Administration and head of the
technology division. "We're building that on-ramp, getting the foundation
in place and quickly adding to it as we get funding," she said.
Roundarch, which is spearheading the implementation, BroadVision Inc.,
which is supplying portal software, and Deloitte Consulting are jointly
developing the portal (www.state.mn.us), which
has a project budget of $1 million, David said.
Through citizen and small-business focus groups and phone surveys, the
state identified 1,600 possible services it could offer electronically,
she said. High on the list are information access, public health data, tourism
and travel, registering to vote online, employment searches, online tax
filing and all types of licensing, including driver, recreational and professional.
The state currently offers six online services, including tax filing.
Although it has no plans to offer any new services with the portal launch,
David said the state will have laid the foundation for its more than 100
agencies to continue to add services as funds become available.
Simon King, BroadVision's vice president for advanced strategy, said
Minnesota's enterprise architecture approach is "very early thinking." Within
the next five years, he said states will focus on becoming government service
providers, meaning they will share services and applications with some nongovernment
agencies and small businesses to become more efficient.
After Minnesota's portal is launched, King said the state would continue
to solicit citizen feedback via the Web and possibly make further changes.
In other news, Vermont (www.state.vt.us), which
signed a two-year deal with Chicago-based Anexsys LLC last fall, also will
unveil an e-government Web portal soon. Internet tax filing will be one
of its first major applications.
New Hampshire (www.state.nh.us), which announced
an agreement with New England Interactive, a subsidiary of Overland Park,
Kan.-based NIC, a month ago, will pilot two online licensing applications
as a first step in launching more e-government services.
It's the first time NIC will become an application service provider,
hosting the services from a data center. Estimated project cost is $425,000,
and up to 18 additional license and renewal services could be developed
on a fee-for-service basis.
The Rhode Island state government announced the launch of its customizable
portal (www.RI.gov) Jan. 9, which also was jointly developed
by New England Interactive. In the coming year, the state plans to add several
online services, including registration renewals for motor vehicles, boats
and snowmobiles; vanity plate availability searches; fishing licenses; and
beach parking permits.