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April 04, 2010

myVermont.gov

One of the themes of the executive response to Challenges for Change, Vermont's effort to deliver better government at a sustainable cost, is greatly increased use of the web for service delivery. Online forms and online information mean better service for those who are already used to shopping and information gathering online AND lower cost to the state. The Department of Information and Innovation (DII) has set up a fast response team so that the many of the forms which are the interface between the state and its clients can be implemented on the web quickly.

We need to be able to move at Internet speed; we should be able to get new forms online in a week or so after the need is identified. Moreover, these forms need to be part of what we call myVermont.gov, a single portal for interaction with the state which is smart enough to remember what you already told it. like your address. so that you don't have to start from scratch each time you find a new way to interact with the State online. And this development has to use the latest web technology to keep costs way, way down.

As a shakeout of the fast response unit and a demonstration to skeptics within state government that fast, cheap, good development is possible, I asked a week or so ago for two prototypes which we can demo. Here they are (but remember these are just prototypes):

https://secure.vermont.gov/TAX/registration/ is a prototype of the form that businesses will be able to use to register with the tax department. We do want new businesses and new taxpayers so we want to make registering easy. Note that myVermont.gov feature of using stored addresses.

http://rules.cms.vt.vprod.cdc.nicusa.com/ is a prototype of a site that we want to use to post new rules for comment. Today these are advertised in newspapers as they have been since just after the invention of the printing press. We think a searchable site which you can even subscribe to via email, RSS or twitter and on which you can post comments directly and read everybody else's comments is a better way to provide this service – it's also a lot cheaper.

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