DIG IT AWARD FINALIST: MOBILE
A mobile digital assistant for Arkansans
- By Suzette Lohmeyer
- Oct 07, 2016
When Information Network of Arkansas (INA) officials set out to digitalize citizen services, they immediately thought of Amazon’s functionality and popularity.
“We realized citizens expect to experience government services in a way that is similar to how they experience services in the private sector, like shopping on Amazon,” INA General Manager Bob Sanders said.
What he and his colleagues came up with is a personal government assistant called Gov2Go that merges the services from more than 100 state and local government agencies onto one platform with a “conversational voice,” Sanders said. “Citizens can interact with services without having to know which agencies they’re touching.”
The platform, powered by data in the cloud, can save Arkansans time and money with regular renewal reminders sent directly to their Apple Watch, iPhone or Android device. A calendar also lets Arkansans see upcoming deadlines.
In addition to helping residents avoid late fees, the reminders include instructions for processes such as assessing a vehicle, paying property taxes and renewing car tags --services that the majority of Arkansans used to do in person, with an estimated 30 percent accruing late fees because they missed one of the necessary steps.
Although it isn’t as popular as Amazon yet, in Gov2Go’s first year, more than 144,000 people -- 12 percent of the population -- have created accounts.
In future releases, Gov2Go will provide access to more government services, including election registration, health and education services, and hunting and fishing licenses, among others.
Suzette Lohmeyer is a freelance writer based in Arlington, Va.