Reflecting on 20 Years of Service -- and a Preview of Your Future Digital Government Experience
You know me and my team as Access Idaho (https://www.accessidaho.org/). 20 years ago, the state of Idaho had a static webpage used as an agency index and had no online transactions. In 1999, Idaho Information Consortium (IIC - a subsidiary of digital government firm NIC) won a competitive RFP bid with the state of Idaho to transform and manage the state’s web portal. I’m very proud of how far we have evolved the site and its digital services over the past two decades. At last count, we provide more than 100 well-designed, easy-to-use interactive solutions and secure payment processing on behalf of agencies, counties, cities, school districts, and water/sewer districts across Idaho.
The technology we pioneered in downtown Boise for the citizens of Idaho has spread nationally, transforming how citizens experience government services. The growth of our technology is grounded in our relentless advocacy for making life easier for citizens. We design and build constituent-friendly technology that simplifies time-consuming processes, increases efficiencies, and reduces costs for government as well as the citizens and businesses they serve.
Access Idaho operates under a unique public-private partnership using a self-funded model in which no tax dollars are used to develop and maintain services. In fact, you may know us by some of our greatest hits, such as:
Products and Services of Today
The Access Idaho team interacts daily with state government and agency leaders. These interactions give us deep insight into the business processes needed to deliver services that are mandated by and must comply with Idaho laws and rules. At the same time, we are constantly engaging with citizens to better understand their needs, as well as the challenges they face in understanding and complying with the rules they are asked to follow to access government services.
This knowledge puts us in a powerful position that allows my team to recognize how to simplify the citizen user experience while maintaining secure operations and properly handling sensitive personal data -- especially financial data. Building and delivering great digital services is rooted in building the public’s trust that the experience will be better than paper, a walk-in visit, or phone call. We also recognize that government services should look great and function perfectly, so our visual and technical platforms are evolving to best serve the growing ranks of Gen X-Z citizens who prefer mobile devices to large screens.
Using the mobile generation as our origin story, Access Idaho is dedicated to transforming the back-office government shop and how citizens can access these services on mobile devices. The best two examples of this are OnTheGo Pay and Prompt Pay
The exciting thing about digital government services is that our commitment to innovation for the people of this great state has led to us being national leaders in government payments, with our solutions being used by governments nationwide.
In the next decade, the delivery of government digital services will need to iterate forward to serve the mobile generation at even a deeper level. What does that look like? It is more mobile-centric, in which citizens identify services relevant to them (from local to state level) and can configure reminders to be sent by text and/or email to create a personalized timeline of government tasks.
For example, if you are a real estate agent, you have a license issued by the state, maybe a car registered with the county, a fishing license and a park and ski pass with the Department of Parks and Recreation. Citizens don’t care about how the government has siloed their information -- they just want simplified access and all of their information and required actions across government in one easy-to-manage place.
Access Idaho will provide citizens access to their personalized action timeline, schedule of events, and reminders of required government tasks for the year, which will eliminate the risk of missing a deadline. That means the real estate agent’s professional license will be renewed on time and she’ll have a fishing license in hand for her favorite annual camping trip. This is my team’s vision and Idaho’s mobile future starting today with our Gov2Go service: https://www.accessidaho.org/services/enterprise/gov2go.html.
Commitment to digital public good
The Access Idaho team recognizes that Idaho’s citizens are hungry for digital government solutions to improve their user experience and reduce time spent interacting with their government. Their appetite will only increase in this new decade and my team’s success will be needed to be rooted in public trust and acceptance of our designs that have high security, elegant design, and next-generation ideas.
I’d love to say my Access Idaho team is ‘disrupting’ government payments and tearing down the walls of government by using a digital wrecking ball from within, but I prefer the term transform and instead believe we are building a new digital ecosystem of personalized citizen-to-government and financial management tools. I do not want to disrupt our public institutions – my goal is to make them better and more secure in order to build trust. I am a lucky person who grew up wanting to make a difference, made a home in this great state, and then found a way to make technology work to improve the lives of my neighbors.