The past year was a banner one for many state government websites, including in Maine where the state took home a number of prestigious awards after building what were judged to be some of the best state government websites in the country.
The awards recognized the state’s work in 2014 developing the Maine.gov Web portal, agency websites and online services as part of broad efforts to provide what state officials described as the best possible online experience for Maine residents.
“Each year, we look to improve our website and online services in order to ensure that we are providing an accessible, convenient way for citizens and business to interact and conduct business with their government,” Greg McNeal, Maine’s chief technology officer, said in a release.
“In 2014 Maine’s dedication to deliver a high quality online resource was recognized by multiple outside sources, supporting our belief that we are as committed as we have ever been,” he said.
According to the press release, the awards won in 2014 include:
- A Digital Government Achievement Award for the My Maine Connection Service presented by the Center for Digital Government. The national award program recognizes outstanding agency and department websites and applications that enhance information interactions and increase innovation, efficiency and performance. The service was recognized in the Government-to-Citizen category.
- Maine’s official Web portal, www.Maine.gov, and Maine’s online business portal, www.maine.gov/businessanswers, were each honored with VEMA Awards. The awards recognize achievements in creativity, innovation and communication. In 2014, only 11 public and private entities were recognized in the website category. The VEMA awards are judged by VEMA’s Arts & Standards Council, an invitation-only panel of skilled professionals with expertise in the fields of multimedia arts and digital communications.
- The University of Maine’s official Web portal, www.Maine.edu, also received a Silver Communicator Award of Distinction from the International Academy of Visual Arts.
These awards build on a wave of recognition received in 2013 when the state was similarly honored for its Web portals.
Maine is one of a handful of states that are increasing the type of services it puts online for its citizens, something that is needed in a place like Maine where low population density and prolonged winter weather make it a challenge to deliver services to citizens all across the state.