Today the State of Arkansas announced that for the first time its official website, Arkansas.gov, has been named the best state website in the country in the annual “Best of the Web” competition sponsored by the Center for Digital Government.
“It has always been our goal to use technology to make it easier to access and use government services,” Governor Mike Beebe said. “I am proud for Arkansas to receive this kind of recognition for innovation, showing that we are a national leader in online, user-friendly government.”
Specifically, Arkansas.gov was recognized for its innovative technology, ease of use, and suite of mobile payment services. The site was completely redesigned and relaunched in May 2011, complete with fully mobile-optimized content along with a growing number of mobile payment services. The new Arkansas.gov was the first state website in the country to provide “Text4Help,” customer service via mobile text messaging. The new site also includes an eGov Services Geolocation Widget, pushing government services to local and community websites and using geolocation technology to find government services by the user’s location.
“In Arkansas, our focus is making sure that every Arkansan can easily find and access government services,” said Claire Bailey, Arkansas Chief Technology Officer. “Arkansas.gov has become the single, comprehensive online resource that makes government available to Arkansans anytime, anywhere, and from any internet enabled device.”
Today Arkansas.gov provides more than 1,000 online services and 376 websites for state and local agencies. In 2010, the portal served more than 57 million visitors and processed 3.4 million eGovernment transactions. All of the services are provided by the Information Network of Arkansas, a public-private partnership between the State of Arkansas and the Arkansas Information Consortium, developing the services through a self-funded business model at no cost to the State.
“We are delighted that Arkansas.gov was recognized as the best state website in the country,” said Ann Purvis, Information Network of Arkansas board chair. “Since 1997, this unique public-private partnership has brought efficiencies to the State, its various government agencies, and most importantly to our citizens and businesses.”
For the past 15 years the Center for Digital Government has honored the best state websites in the country. Arkansas.gov has placed in the top 10 for each of the past six years, placing third in 2009 and second in 2010. This year the State also received a Digital Government Achievement Award from the Center for Digital Government. Recognizing excellence in specific online services, the http://www.Mobile.Arkansas.gov portal was honored in the government-to-citizen category for its suite of mobile solutions.