The Information Network of Arkansas Board (INA) was created in 1995 and operates under the authority of Arkansas code 25-27-101 et. seq. with the statutory responsibility of assisting the state in exploring and improving citizen and business access to public information and online services. The Information Network of Arkansas is a 12-member board that consists of individuals from the Public and Private sectors. Six members represent state government agencies and six members represent user associations. This board provides contract oversight to a private organization (Arkansas Information Consortium, LLC, a subsidiary of NIC Inc.) that exclusively works for the state and its local municipalities to build online government services.
The objective of INA is to improve the accessibility of Government through public information or electronic transactions. These transactions may be between Citizens and Government, Businesses and Government or between Governmental Agencies and offices. INA manages and hosts the State of Arkansas's web portal, Arkansas.gov and provides secure online payment processing through Arkansas GovPay, the State's payment portal.
The State of Arkansas formed this organization to build, market, manage (host) and support online services within the state. This partnership alleviates the need for agencies to issue an RFP seeking an independent vendor for expensive web sites and online services. Instead, these services are centralized and available under the master contract to agencies of all sizes. Agencies execute a service level agreement with INA for desired services.
INA works with agencies, offices, and associations to provide public access or limited electronic access to information they currently disseminate upon request via paper. INA also works with those same agencies, offices, and associations on projects that allow citizens and businesses to submit filings and/or payments via the Internet, thus eliminating the need for paper forms and reducing data entry requirements. The Arkansas GovPay payment engine is available for online, phone (IVR), and over-the-counter (OTC) payment processing.
This business model allows government to offer eGovernment services without using upfront taxpayer funds. Arkansas uses a proven self-funded business model that applies a modest fee to a handful of online services. This has funded the development of more than 400 online services at no cost to the agencies or using state appropriated funds.
Operating under a self-funded model, the INA network, its infrastructure, employees, office space and equipment are fully funded through portal processing fees associated with information requiring limited access by statute and electronic filings that require a fee. The State does not appropriate any funds for this network. State services that do not have a fee remain free to businesses and citizens. If agencies need expedited development services, INA may charge rates consistent with DIS published rates for each biennium.