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Arkansas Wins Two StateScoop 50 Awards

After hundreds of nominees and more than 50,000 votes, the people have chosen the state of Arkansas, in partnership with the Information Network of Arkansas (INA), as the winner of two prestigious StateScoop 50 Awards for online services that significantly streamline government operations.

Arkansas State Highway Transportation Department won a State Innovation of the Year Award for its responsive transportation map IDriveArkansas.com, and Arkansas Auditor of State won a State IT Program of the YearAward for its Unclaimed Property Mobile Claims Filing system, known as The Great Arkansas Treasure Hunt. Arkansas is the only state to have winners in both technology categories.

“The public hand-picked these Arkansas government programs as their favorites out of a large and competitive field of nominees,” INA General Manager Amy Sawyer said. “That speaks to the impressive results the agencies have achieved through technology and boosts Arkansas’ status as a national leader in eGovernment. We are proud to partner with state agencies to help make good government even better through innovative online services like IDriveArkansas and Unclaimed Property Mobile Claims Filing.”

In October 2013, ahead of the winter weather season, the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department launched IDriveArkansas.com—a responsive, interactive map that presents real-time highway travel and weather conditions, and helps drivers make informed decisions about navigating the roads. Anyone with a mobile device, laptop or desktop computer can use IDriveArkansas to get an overall understanding of what is happening on the state highway system. More than 21 percent of all Arkansas motorists already use IDriveArkansas so they can “know before they go.”

The Arkansas State Auditor’s Office became the first in the nation to fully automate its unclaimed property filing process and make mobile claims filingavailable to citizens in March 2013. Now, a claim can be submitted online in minutes using a mobile-friendly interface. Automation has dramatically streamlined operations: Citizens filed 134 percent more claims and the state paid 84 more claims dollars in 2013 than in 2012, without expanding staff to handle the increase in filings.

The StateScoop 50 Awards is one of the top national awards for members of the state and local government community. It’s an entirely crowd-sourced program that honors the 50 best and the brightest people and programs that make state government more efficient and effective. Nominees and winners were decided by public vote online in early 2014.

Arkansas Department of Information Services Director and Chief Technology Officer Claire Baliey was also honored with a GoldenGov: State Executive of the Year Award for leading Arkansas government into a new technology landscape with innovative ideas and inspiring others to get on board.