Oklahoma's portal goes interactive

Oklahoma's state Web site, YourOklahoma, officially went interactive at the beginning of the month with the introduction of an online grant application process for the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Applicants will be able to track information throughout the grant-making process, reducing the time that council staff members have had to spend answering e-mail messages and phone inquiries, as well as time lost in dealing with hard-copy submissions.

"We work with agencies as they come to us to set up services, and the Arts Council was very proactive and wanted to be the first agency with an interactive service to be provided through the portal," said Deb Chase, director of marketing for YourOklahoma (www.state.ok.us). "It's a small agency, and they know the advantages that moving these processes online will bring."

Chase expects another 10 or more agencies to go online with interactive services by the end of the year. Motor vehicle license services will go up soon, she said, as will license renewals for nurses. And she also has had discussions with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission and wildlife services agencies.

"We've been very fortunate overall in not having to do much to convince agencies to set up online services," Chase said. "The business has been coming to us."

The e-business company NIC operates YourOklahoma under a contract with the state.

Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached at hullite@mindspring.com.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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