September 10, 2001
Speaking at the Detroit Economic Club today, Governor Engler announced that Michigan.gov — the state's web portal — has been ranked number two in the United States in a survey conducted by Brown University. Last week, Michigan.gov was selected as one of the 10 best sites in the Best of the Web 2001 survey conducted by the Center for Digital Government and Government Technology magazine.
"Technology empowers people by helping them access government information and services," said Governor Engler. "An informed public, armed with information, can be a powerful force for change and improvement. That's why I am so committed to making Michigan a technology leader."
Michigan's web portal improved from a 14th place ranking last year when Texas held the top spot. This year, Indiana squeezed by into the first place ranking.
The study was conducted by Darrell West, professor of political science and director of Brown University's Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions. Web sites were evaluated based on the presence of more than two dozen features, included personalization, searchable databases and the number and type of online services.
Michigan.gov provides easy-to-use, personalized access to government information and more than 70 online interactive services, including hunting and fishing licenses, campground reservations and a business lookup function. Over the next year, more than 40 new services will be added, including a single payment system, electronic forms needed to start a business, teacher license renewal and children's health insurance screening and applications.
Since the launch of Michigan.gov in July 2001, the portal has been averaging 10,000 visits a day — more than double the 4,000 visits per day logged by the previous state web site. Customers have also been looking up four times the amount of information on each visit, with the site averaging 35,000 page views per day, compared to 9,000 page views per day previously.
Governor Engler's technology strategy also includes the creation of the new state Department of Information Technology, laptop computers for every teacher, plans to improve access to broadband Internet service, a high-tech "cybercourt" to hear technology cases, incentives to spur growth of technology businesses in Michigan and the Life Sciences Corridor — a $1 billion state investment in basic scientific research.
"Technology is changing the way we work, the way we learn and the way we live," said Governor Engler. "Michigan must stay in the lead so that all of our people can succeed."