NEWS FROM AROUND THE STATE
SEPTEMBER/DECEMBER 2001

Table of Contents

  1. e-Michigan Launches Revolutionary New Web Site
  2. Michigan.gov Sets Record Pace for Usage
  3. Lobbyist Registration and Financial Information
  4. Michigan Ranks Second in Providing E-Government Services


(1) e-Michigan Launches Revolutionary State Web Site : Michigan.gov

In June, Governor John Engler launched Michigan's new Internet portal, Michigan.gov, the first to incorporate all best practices currently in use for online service delivery. The new portal organizes all state services and information by theme rather than state agency, so that customers no longer need to know what agency provides a specific service.

The Governor also announced that three new services are now available online. These include a financial aid site with comprehensive information to help parents pay for their children's college education, a business look-up function and a pre-screening program so that health care and social service providers can quickly determine potential eligibility for services such as Food Stamps and Medicaid.

These services are in addition to the more than 70 interactive functions that are already available online to Michigan citizens. Over the next year, another 40 new or improved services will also be added.

More than 250 customers of online government services helped to create the new portal, which groups information into six primary themes:

With this theme-based system, consumers can access information and functions without having to know the name of a state department or agency.

"Our theme categories help to break down the barriers between people and government," said Governor Engler. "Whether you're looking for licensed day care providers, a hunting license or verification of a health care provider's license, government services and information are easy-to-find, easy-to-access and easy-to-use."

The new portal features a lighthouse banner at the top that also appears on all official State of Michigan sites. It contains ever-present links to a natural language search engine, agency directory and frequently asked questions. Customers can also voluntarily personalize the site to their interests.

Source: http://www.michigan.gov, July 10, 2001.

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(2) Michigan.gov Sets Record Pace for Usage

One month after the launch of Michigan.gov – the state’s new web portal – a record number of customers are taking advantage of the system to find the government information and services they need. In July, Michigan.gov averaged 10,000 visits a day, more than double the average of 4,000 visits per day logged by the previous state portal. Visitors are looking up four times the amount of information with each visit, with the site averaging 35,000 page views per day in July compared to 9,000 page views per day on the previous site.

New services are constantly being added to the portal. For example, a new Domestic Violence Resource Directory was recently created to help customers quickly locate facilities and resources in their area. Over the next few weeks, employers and citizens will be able to file certain types of unemployment claims online. Educators and parents will be provided with a central site to research information about Michigan’s schools. They will also be able to view sample curricula and lesson plans for grade levels K-8. By the end of November, 15 new services will be added for businesses, health care providers and educators.

These services are being added to more than 100 interactive online services already provided by Michigan.gov. Simultaneously, Michigan is expanding the features of the Michigan.gov to include a pilot shopping cart, a common online payment system and enhanced personalization capabilities. These new features will be premiered in late October.

Stay tuned to Michigan.gov for more good news."

Source: http://www.michigan.gov, August 13, 2001.

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(3) Lobbyist Registration and Financial Information

Want to know how much money Michigan lobbyists spend to court politicians? Now that information is available online thanks to the Secretary of State's Bureau of Elections.

The Lobby Registration Information Site at http://www.sos.state.mi.us/election/lobby/lobby.html allows users to search for the financial and employment information filed under the Michigan Lobby Registration Act.

The reports contain information about costs for food and beverages to lobby, certain travel expenses, gifts and other expenditures to public officials.

Reports filed before August 31 and the reports compiled from filings are still available for review at the Bureau of Elections.

Source: Lansing State Journal, September 3, 2001, p.2B.

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(4) Michigan Ranks Second in Providing E-Government Services

The second annual “e-government” survey, conducted by researchers at Brown University’s Taubman Center for Public Policy, finds significant improvement in state and federal Web sites. Analysis indicates that Indiana, Michigan, Texas, Tennessee and Washington have the top-ranking online services among the 50 states and that the Food and Drug Administration, Department of Agriculture, Federal Communications Commission, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Internal Revenue Service rank most highly among federal agencies. For more information, see http://library.northernlight.com/FD20010910890000037.html. Source: Gary Price, Virtual Acquisition Shelf & News Desk, September 11, 2001.

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