Since taking office in 2007, I have worked to make state government more accessible to Arkansans and more efficient in its delivery of services. Recently, Arkansas's official Web site was redesigned to help further those efforts.
More than ever before, Arkansans are accessing government services online, and the recent updates provide an even more user-friendly experience on your computer or smart phone. To see the new Web portal, go to arkansas.gov. It's designed to keep you informed about our state, and it provides links that can take you to our online services, to people who can help you, and to recent news stories.
Arkansas has become a national leader in using technology to make government more responsive. In 2010, the state's Web site was again named one of the best state government sites in the nation, receiving a second-place ranking by the Center for Digital Government. This research institute has ranked arkansas.gov in the top 10 state Web sites for each of the past five years. The State offers more than 1,000 online services, giving you convenient and efficient access to state government from home or from your mobile device.
The redesign for 2011 builds on changes that have worked well in the past to give Arkansans more precise and direct access to the government services they need. A new search tool analyzes text as you type it and instantly responds, providing an immediate and detailed guide to relevant topics. The Web site also utilizes area maps and geo-location services to rapidly connect citizens to available jobs, services, and government offices near them.
City-and-county governments and community organizations can now include popular government services on their own Web sites, where local residents may already spend their time while online. The portal also helps Arkansans connect with many of our state agencies through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.
Last year, Arkansas also became the first state to offer payment for eGoverment services from mobile devices. Smart phones and other mobile Internet devices are becoming the primary form of communication for an increasing number of people. We want to provide our citizens with every available channel to access state government. Our Web site is now designed to display its full content on a variety of mobile devices.
In addition to the arkansas.gov Web portal, other state agencies have mobile applications that can be downloaded directly to mobile devices. I am impressed by the fact that the Universal Financial Aid Scholarship Application can now be completed entirely on a mobile device, and the State provides real-time assistance to citizens via text messaging. This is a move that was unimaginable even ten years ago.
As technology continues its rapid development, Arkansas will strive to continue leading the nation in serving our citizens with these new technologies. The state's Department Of Information Services and our state agencies have created the most efficient and innovative Web portal to meet the needs of Arkansans, and we will continue to provide everyone a more accessible and user-friendly state government.