Kentucky.gov honored in ‘Best of Web’
Kentucky is once again basking in the national spotlight for its Web efforts.
The state’s Web portal, Kentucky.gov, was recognized Sept. 1 by the Center for Digital Government as one of the top five sites in the nation for 2010. The non-profit agency ranked the site fifth among state Web portal entries in this year’s contest.
“My administration’s firm commitment to keeping government accessible and open to the public has once again earned Kentucky national recognition for its online resources,” Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said. “We work very hard to maintain and improve the site as new technology and resources evolve. This ensures Kentucky.gov is a reliable resource for our citizens to gain information in a timely and accurate manner.”
Cathilea Robinett, executive director of the Center for Digital Government, said Kentucky.gov - with its increased focus on transparency - is achieving the essence of what it means to be a more open and accountable government. The site successfully provides government leaders with a way to effectively communicate with citizens while increasing public trust, she said.
“The portal gives Kentucky constituents a view into the government’s budget and allows them to see that their tax dollars are put to good use,” Robinett said. “The site’s increased usability features ensure citizens can conduct their business with the state quickly, efficiently and hassle free by taking advantage of the multitude of services and transaction options the site offers.”
Kentucky.gov is the official Web site of the Commonwealth. The site is managed and operated without tax funds through a public-private partnership between the Commonwealth and Kentucky Interactive, the Frankfort-based official eGovernment partner for the state.
Kentucky Interactive helps state government entities Web-enable their information services and is part of eGovernment firm NIC’s (NASDAQ: EGOV) family of companies. The site offers a variety of government-related services and information around the clock, including driver license renewal and vehicle registration, voter information, the ability to buy hunting and fishing licenses, register businesses, and review the state’s budget.
The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government, according to the organization’s Web site. In its 15th year, Best of the Web recognizes outstanding government portals and websites based on their innovations, functionality and efficiencies.
The award completes a trifecta of national recognition for the state’s websites. The Open Door e-transparency site was recently named best in the nation and the state’s stimulus reporting website, Kentucky at Work, garnered a national second-place award for excellence in accountability for citizens.
In April 2010, Kentucky was the only state in the nation to receive an ‘A’ rating for openness in government spending for its Open Door website, online at http://opendoor.ky.gov, based upon a report issued by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. The site was also named one of the best of its kind nationally by the Center for Study of Responsive Law, a nonprofit organization that researches government and corporate accountability. The Commonwealth was recognized as a national leader for transparency in state contracts for publishing the full text of state contracts.
Similar to Open Door, the Commonwealth’s stimulus spending site, Kentucky at Work, online at http://kentuckyatwork.ky.gov, received national attention in January 2009. In a report issued by Good Jobs First, a national policy resource center, Kentucky was recognized for receiving the second highest rating nationally for accountability to taxpayers.
“This most recent reward for a Kentucky government website continues to highlight Gov. Beshear’s persistence for transparency and openness in government,” said Jonathan Miller, secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet. “A critical element for providing that transparency is making our internet presence as user friendly and comprehensive as possible and that’s what this award indicates.”
Kentucky Chief Information Officer Phil Baughn said Web-based services are becoming the norm for a demanding consumer, and the state’s continued commitment to improve service to the businesses and citizens it serves through improved and streamlined technology methods is reflected in the award.
“Combined with the Commonwealth’s new positions as top in the nation for its Open Door e-transparency site, and our second-place position for our stimulus reporting Kentucky at Work site, this is a real honor,” Baughn said.
On the Web:
Center for Digital Government (http://www.centerdigitalgov.com/)