Thought Leadership Profile | NIC

            SHIFT        In the Information Age, eGovernme...
One of the most fascinating things about
    great innovations is that people often had
detective in Kansas and Texas. “Informa-
“People would give false identification to open a                                ...
able portal that pulls together more than
    4 million court records and currently serves up
Rick Meredith
Assistant Commissioner of Business
Services and Community Development
Payment system is designed to do. A few               accidentally overpay, the counties are saved
“On our side, we’re seeing all the bids, but
they’re all by number so we can’t tell who        “We went to an online platf...
To learn how self-funding can work
for you, contact Elizabeth Proudfit at
703-288-0980 or

Visit NIC...
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The Paradigm Shift


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In the information age, eGovernment is helping the public sector redefine itself by putting value-added services on the Internet. This document highlights state and local eGovernment success stories.

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The Paradigm Shift

  1. 1. Thought Leadership Profile | NIC THe ParadIgm SHIFT In the Information Age, eGovernment is helping the public sector redefine itself. Advertising Supplement
  2. 2. One of the most fascinating things about great innovations is that people often had “It’s time to go beyond looking at the forms to be filed no idea what they were missing. Before in triplicate and start thinking about what government the automobile was invented, most had likely presumed rail was the be-all and is really trying to accomplish.” end-all of transportation. All of a sudden, Harry Herington President people realized that a need they couldn’t NIC necessarily identify had been met in a highly effective manner. Now, the model for government is that make government better for everyone. looking at the forms to be filed in triplicate changing. People have always wanted their And by deploying a variety of proven funding and start thinking about what government government to be better, to be more acces- mechanisms, government can deliver is really trying to accomplish. We can use sible. Most, however, couldn’t really say how cutting-edge eGovernment solutions that technology and the Web to deliver incredible that should happen. eGovernment answers literally pay for themselves. value to both government and end users.” “how?” by opening to the public an entirely Take the state of Utah. Few others in the new world of government service delivery United eStates Union have embraced eGovernment quite that in the past would have been unthinkable. Across the country NIC is helping govern- like the Beehive State. In an effort to combat Before, citizens may have been resigned to ment redefine what eGovernment means and identity theft, Utah officials worked with NIC the fact that government was sometimes what government itself is capable of. What and state banks to create ValIDate. ValIDate distant and challenging to deal with, hoping makes eGovernment so compelling is it is defies conventional definitions of eGovern- for, but unsure how to effect, a change for bounded only by imagination. For those who ment. The system allows Utah financial the better. With eGovernment, new and believe eGovernment to be little more than institutions to cross-check applicant informa- different government services are being electronic license renewal and registration, tion with the state’s Driver License Division created. Some transformations are the time has come to take another look. database in real time. surprising. But even more interesting are NIC President Harry Herington believes “One of the problems Utah was encoun- the eGovernment solutions that make you government is in the position to change the tering is that people would give false shake your head and ask, “Why didn’t I game completely — and NIC is a teammate identification to open a checking account,” think of that?” that can make that transformation a reality. explained Nannette Rolfe, Director of Utah’s At NIC, that’s the mission — to conceive of “Start thinking outside the box,” he Driver License Division. “They’d deposit $100 and deploy innovative eGovernment solutions recommended. “It’s time to go beyond or $200 to open the account, and then they’d go write thousands and thousands of dollars off this account. A lot of the checks would bounce and the person was not who they said they were, and the banks were losing a lot of money.” Nannette Rolfe Director Driver License Division State of Utah
  3. 3. detective in Kansas and Texas. “Informa- “People would give false identification to open a tion security has turned us into a paranoid checking account, checks would bounce, and banks society, and the issue impacts citizens as well as credit card issuing companies and the were losing a lot of money.” governments that are supposed to manage Nannette Rolfe the process. We are working with the state of Utah to help financial institutions reduce their risk exposure before potentially fraudu- lent accounts can even be opened.” The solution came in winter 2006 when to instantly cross- “The ValIDate solution is a great example a couple of state legislators began taking a reference applicant data with the state Driver of staying on top of the services that we hard look the issue of identity theft. The result License Division database. If the data does manage and continuously improving upon was the passage of House Bill 169, which not match, it is a red flag indicating the the expectations of government,” continued allowed any state depository institution to applicant may be using a false identity. Herington. obtain information about account applicants. A small transaction fee paid by partici- This information included name, date of pating banks for ValIDate queries is expected JUSTICe for all birth and driver’s license number — data to generate enough revenue for the state to But eGovernment is not limited to Utah that would, essentially, verify that the person employ a program coordinator and program or countering identity theft. Radical new applying was who they claimed they were. auditor, further bolstering security against eGovernment solutions are being deployed ValIDate was NIC’s solution to making this identity theft. from coast to coast. validation process a reality. “In the past couple of years, identity theft Nebraska is using eGovernment to connect During the application process, ValIDate has evolved into a high-tech enterprise,” said almost every county and district court in the allows banks to use the official state portal Herington, whose career began as a police state. The JUSTICE System is a single, search- Advertising Supplement
  4. 4. able portal that pulls together more than 4 million court records and currently serves up “Before, you would have to go to each of these data for more than 62,000 monthly searches. different systems, and that’s if you had access. This The concept, according to JUSTICE Busi- ness Analyst Paula Crouse, is not a new one. way, approved users access real-time information In fact, she said the idea got its start back from several databases through a single system.” in 1989. However, it took some time for the Ann Lynn Walker technology to catch up with the state’s vision. “We did our first pilot in 1994 with three courts, we actually began installing the system in 1996 and 1997. We completed all the installations by the fall of 2000,” One-Stop Shopping Crouse said. A related eGovernment system is up and Originally the system only was available running in Tennessee. There, the criminal to court employees. But through a partner- justice portal is aggregating data stored in ship with Nebraska’s state Web portal disparate legacy systems and delivering it, online court through a secure, one-stop Web application. records are now available to anyone with The portal allows authorized users — such computer access. as law enforcement officers and others in The transaction fee pays for the system, the state’s criminal justice community — to and it is allowing Nebraska to expand collect comprehensive data on an individual. JUSTICE to other government agencies. In the past, finding that information would “As the project evolves, we have begun require separate searches of multiple to share information with other agencies,” information systems. Crouse said. “We send information to the “What this criminal justice portal does Nebraska Crime Commission, State Patrol, is provide a one-stop shop for viewing Department of Motor Vehicles, Health and Department of Safety’s driver license Ann Lynn Walker Information Systems Director Human Services, and the Foster Care information, Department of Correction Administrative Offices of the Courts Review Board. So more and more, we’re information, Board of Probation and Parole State of Tennessee sharing information with them and that information, Tennessee Bureau of helps make state information more accurate Investigation’s Sex Offender Registry, and formational means of sharing data through and complete.” also Department of Revenue’s vehicle real-time one access for a 24/7 environment. title and registration,” said Ann Lynn The ability to access and aggregate data from Walker, Information Systems Director for disparate databases has resulted in increased the Administrative Office of the Courts. arrests, faster closure of criminal cases and a “Before, you would have to go to each of safer environment for Tennessee. It levels the these different systems to obtain this vital playing field between large and small cities and information, and that’s only if you happened wealthy and poor counties. to have access. This way, approved users Tennessee also boasts of another innova- access real-time information from several tive eGovernment solution. The state’s One databases through a single system. This Stop Business Resource application is an criminal justice tool has gotten rave reviews online portal allowing business owners and has become an invaluable resource to to complete most of the necessary filings criminal investigators throughout the state.” online. Available through the state’s official In a state where the challenges of Web site and disseminating information can be daunting, launched in November 2005, the One Stop the Integrated Criminal Justice Web Portal has Business Resource portal gives business proven to be an economical, effective and trans- owners the ability to handle 85 percent of all Paula Crouse Business Analyst JUSTICE State of Nebraska
  5. 5. Rick Meredith Assistant Commissioner of Business Services and Community Development “By providing all of these services online, members Department of Economic and of the business community don’t have to drive to Community Development State of Tennessee Nashville or try to get somebody on the phone. It’s true to its name: One Stop.” required filings online, including registering Rick Meredith their business, acquiring a tax ID and obtaining most of the other forms mandated by the IRS. Highway Star economy. As such, Idaho’s progressive “The response has been unbelievable,” In Idaho, a similar portal-within-a-portal government sought a method for said Rick Meredith, assistant commissioner solution has been created. Trucking is big simplifying transactions between trucking of the Business Services and Community business in Idaho. Whether shipping Idaho companies and state agencies. The result Development Divisions of the Tennessee goods to other parts of the world or serving was the portal, part of Department of Economic and Community as a waypoint for trucks crisscrossing the the state’s Access Idaho Web gateway Development. “By providing all of these nation, trucking is a vital part of the Idaho services online, members of the business serves as hub for community don’t have to drive to Nashville or a variety of electronic services, including try to get somebody on the phone. It’s true to registration, permits and hazardous materials its name: One Stop.” information. The site serves both in-state and The online solution also saves the state interstate truckers. significant money since it eliminates most “Trucking firms can look at a list of all their small business paper filings and mailings. current registration records, renew records, “At our core, NIC strives to provide buy or renewal HazMat endorsements and services that make it easier to interact and do purchase oversize/overweight permits,” business with government,” said Jeff Fraser, explained David Metcalf, the Idaho Transpor- NIC’s Chief Executive Officer and company tation Department’s Counter Operations founder. “The government leaders we work Supervisor. “The trucking industry has with recognize that being regarded as a several permits, registrations and endorse- pro-business state is a competitive advantage ments that need to be carried in a specific in economic development, and NIC uses vehicle in order to legally operate. It’s fairly technology to make this a reality.” complex. If they go to this site, they can David Metcalf Counter Operations Supervisor Idaho Transportation Department Advertising Supplement
  6. 6. Payment system is designed to do. A few accidentally overpay, the counties are saved years ago, Saline County, Ark., Tax Collector from costly error-correction and printing and Chris Villines noticed the rise in online tax mailing replacement forms. preparation and that people had started paying their taxes using a credit card. Villines an eBay for Securities figured that if private-sector companies could Next door to Arkansas, Oklahoma’s do this, Arkansas could too — only better. first-of-its-kind eGovernment solution is Villines envisioned a system that would unify getting attention — and awards. The State counties throughout the state and allow Treasurer’s Office knew it would benefit from people to pay their property taxes with a a Web-based application that enabled online credit card over the Internet, by phone, or in bidding for treasury securities. The treasur- Chris Villines person at a government office. er’s office maintains a $5 billion portfolio and Tax Collector Saline County, Arkansas Villines and several other counties is active on the securities market every day. approached NIC with a vision of what they The traditional method of bidding on obtain a large majority of what they need wanted. NIC set about making it a reality. The securities had become too time-consuming, over the Internet.” result is, as Villines explained, a very efficient, according to Oklahoma State Treasurer Since rolling out four years ago, the easy-to-use application. Scott Meacham. Meacham said the old trucking portal has seen some of its services “You can go directly to the state of paper-based system was very labor-intensive achieve up to 70 percent usage. Fees of 50 Arkansas Web site, and subject to errors. About 18 months ago, cents to $1.50 per transaction have already which has a link to the county tax portal,” Meacham asked his staff to develop a faster, paid for the cost of the online trucking he said. “Once you reach the portal, a user more concise way to place bids. services. In addition, the state has cut its can look up information by last name or by Working with NIC, Oklahoma developed costs significantly, especially by eliminating parcel number, and it brings up on the screen the State Treasurer’s Online Electronic much of its postage expense associated with everything that’s under an account. You can Trading Platform, which is available through paper transactions. choose whether you would like to pay online the state’s portal through our secure server, by telephone with “We went to an online platform, where making government easy our interactive voice response system, or in every time we’re ready to buy or sell a secu- The common adage, “online, not in line,” person by swiping a credit card at a govern- rity, an e-mail is sent out to everybody on the is championed by all sorts of government ment office. It’s as simple as that.” approved dealer list,” Meacham explained. technology projects. Few, however, produce The easy-to-use solution is designed to “Then when we get ready to conduct the better results than eGovernment. In fact, provide multiple payment options that meet session, we open up the system and all “online, not in line” is the very definition the needs of the majority of Arkansans. the brokers can come in and log on to this of eGovernment. And allowing people and And since the system will not allow users to online platform.” businesses to interact online with govern- ment is NIC’s specialty. By understanding the needs of citizens and business in addition to the needs of government, NIC avoids the one- size-fits-all approach. Instead, the company crafts individual eGovernment solutions that make sense for its public-sector partners. “If we are going to get people to use an eGovernment service, we need to make it as user-friendly as possible,” said Herington. “I’ve often said you may not be able to make government fun, but you can make it easier. We make it easier every day.” Making government easier is exactly what the Arkansas Multi-Channel Property Tax
  7. 7. “On our side, we’re seeing all the bids, but they’re all by number so we can’t tell who “We went to an online platform, where every time is actually giving us what bid. We’re just we’re ready to buy or sell a security, an e-mail is sent seeing the best bid and all the other bids,” he continued. “It allows securities brokers to bid out to everybody on the approved dealer list. Then against each other to earn our business. It’s a when we get ready to conduct the session, we open up bit like eBay for treasury securities.” Fraser sees Oklahoma’s electronic trading the system and all the brokers can come in and log on system as a window into NIC’s relationships to this online platform.” Scott Meacham with its state partners and end users. “There “Government leaders know what their are active give-and-take discussions when- mission is and what it is not,” concluded ever a new idea surfaces, and we always Herington. “Our state partners acknowledge welcome the opportunity to develop eService that using technology to make government concepts by collaborating with the private more accessible and user-friendly is an sector and our government partners.” important element of their commitment to serve. At the same time, this may not always making the Case be an area in which government has in-house All of these stories illustrate how NIC helps expertise or available funds. NIC provides states use eGovernment to redefine govern- the best of both worlds by delivering valuable ment services and service delivery. The eServices at no upfront cost. This allows company partners with state governments to government leaders to focus resources bring to life great ideas that, in the past, may on fulfilling other aspects of their public have been ahead of their time. service mission.” Scott Meacham State Treasurer State of Oklahoma Advertising Supplement
  8. 8. To learn how self-funding can work for you, contact Elizabeth Proudfit at 703-288-0980 or Visit NIC at This Government Technology’s Public CIO Thought Leadership Profile was sponsored by NIC. © 2007 e.Republic Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A.