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Seven is considered a lucky number in many cultures—but luck had nothing to do with seven states selecting NIC’s Gov2Go to provide an easier way for citizens to interact with government. As “the nation’s first personal assistant for government,” the Microsoft Azure-powered Gov2Go platform is being implemented in Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Citizens at the center of government
Angela Davied, vice president of corporate communications for Microsoft CityNext partner NIC, explains that Gov2Go is about ending the “government scavenger hunt,” where citizens must know when property taxes are due, where driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations can be renewed, how to comply with business licensing and taxation requirements, who to contact about professional licenses, where to vote and more. “All these different touchpoints that we have with government … we are in charge of navigating,” she said. “The concept of Gov2Go is to turn that upside down, placing the citizen at the center of government.”
With basic Gov2Go services launched in all 50 states last October citizens can look up voter registration information, get detailed Amber Alert information and access NIC’s YourPassNow digital park pass solution for select national parks. However, the full Gov2Go experience being deployed in seven states involves learning about a person’s civic responsibilities, tracking those interactions, notifying the person about an upcoming renewal or fee and offering simple one-click payment to complete the transaction.
Digital government focus
Gov2Go’s momentum builds on NIC’s commitment to making government more accessible by delivering digital efficiencies. The company has master contracts to provide digital government services for 28 states; seven of the 28 have deployed services on the Gov2Go platform. In NIC’s 26-year history, it has developed a library of 13,000 different digital government services, running the gamut from Rhode Island lobster fishers fulfilling their special licensing requirements online to Montana ranchers using the web to register their cattle brands.
Arkansas launched Gov2Go in 2015 and today delivers about 10 of its existing NIC-developed digital services to citizens via the citizen-centric platform. “We’ve gotten so accustomed to how major online retailers have offered services that we expect that same level of convenience with government—and that’s exactly what Gov2Go provides,” Davied said. “It brings that convenient, one-stop shopping to government.”
Partnering with Microsoft
After about a year of working with Arkansas to deploy Gov2Go, NIC realized that there was a much broader opportunity than a solution for a single state. The company launched a national Gov2Go platform and partnered with Microsoft to enhance the architecture of the service.
Amy Sawyer, NIC’s general manager for the Gov2Go platform, noted several advantages to using Microsoft’s Azure platform as a service: “Placing Gov2Go on the Microsoft Azure platform allowed us to easily and quickly incorporate many things into the architecture, including microservices, biometric authentication and machine learning.”
While citizens benefit from Gov2Go bringing together all their interactions with all levels of government onto one platform, there are equally important advantages for government officials interested in delivering better services through a proven solution that’s easy to adopt and avoids recreating the wheel. “Gov2Go is the only citizen-centric solution that’s actually been deployed and is in use,” Davied said. “It’s very easy to deploy services on Gov2Go and governments can launch services on the platform rather quickly.”
NIC estimates that more than 19,000 residents of Pulaski County, Ark., received deadline notifications through Gov2Go during the 2017 property assessment and property tax payment season. In fact, more than 3,000 taxpayers used online payment options for the first time as a result of communications from Gov2Go. “We needed a better way to deliver services to citizens in a way that reduced confusion and helped them meet their deadlines,” said Pulaski County Treasurer Debra Buckner. “Gov2Go was the perfect solution. Now, more citizens are remembering to assess their property and pay property taxes on time.”
Gov2Go’s national rollout continues, with about 10 more states in the process of signing statements of work. Recent awards for Gov2Go include receiving a StateScoop 50 award for State IT Innovation of the Year and an “Impacter” Dynamite Award from the American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC)—an honor given to only four solutions from an original field of more than 150 nominees. For Sawyer, the reason for this success is clear: “The recognition of Gov2Go reinforces our belief that citizen-centric solutions are foundational to good government.” To learn more about how your state can bring this one-stop, efficient resource to the public, please visit: