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Utah.gov Recognized as 'Best of the Web'

SALT LAKE CITY - Utah.gov, the State of Utah's web portal, has once again been recognized as the top government site in the nation.

The site received first place in the 2009 Best of the Web competition, sponsored by the National Center for Digital Government. The annual awards program recognizes the most innovative and user-friendly state and local government portals.

"We are using technology to connect with citizens, and this award shows that we are doing it well," Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert said. "Utah.gov not only presents Utah government in a unique way, more importantly it provides better access to services than ever before."

The Best of the Web competition evaluates state, city and county Web sites on their innovation, Web-delivery of public services, efficiency, economy, and functionality for improved citizen access. Utah.gov was also awarded first place in the competition in 2003 and 2007, making Utah the only state to win the award in consecutive eligible years. Utah.gov is the state of Utah's official Web portal (http://www.utah.gov) and is a collaborative effort between the state of Utah and Utah Interactive, LLC, a Salt Lake City-based, wholly owned subsidiary of eGovernment firm NIC.

"Utah.gov serves many key purposes that are priorities for my administration, including government efficiency and transparency," Governor Herbert said. "The site allows Utahns to conduct business with their state agencies online, 24 hours a day, and provides access to a wealth of information about their government."

In 2008, Utah.gov averaged more than a million unique visitors per month. Among the many services available online, more than 100,000 businesses have been created in Utah using the state's One-Stop Business Registration service, almost 1 million safety inspections are processed electronically per year, and some 4.1 million web-based job referrals through the Department of Workforce Services jobs.utah.gov have been made in 2009 alone. "As we continually work to improve Utah.gov, we look carefully at what Utah citizens are asking for and attempt to deliver technology and web-based solutions that meets their needs," said J. Stephen Fletcher, the state's chief information officer. "Utah citizens have demanded that we provide more and more of our services online, and we have met that charge."

The new design of Utah.gov is focused on providing increased access to government services and usability for the citizens of Utah. Utah.gov currently provides more than 860 online state government services. New features include location awareness, a new multimedia portal, Web 2.0 services, a data portal, forms search capabilities, and mobile applications.

In addition to the Best of the Web award, the State of Utah also received top honors in the following categories from the Center for Digital Government:

Government-to-business: The Department of Public Safety's Safety Media Portal is a web application developed exclusively for communicating current public safety news, information and alerts to media outlets. The first-of-its-kind site provides a comprehensive view into current statewide law enforcement activities and includes sections for news releases and multimedia downloads. The site also incorporates pushed alerts to RSS and SMS feeds via Twitter on breaking news and developing stories.

Government-to-government: The Utah Public Meeting Notice Website increases government transparency by allowing citizens to search by topic or government organization for public meetings scheduled throughout the state. Visitors to the site have access to details associated with both past and upcoming public meetings, including address, date, time, and agenda.

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