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For Immediate Release 
September 16, 2004

Maine’s Website Recognized for eGovernment Excellence
And Awarded First Place in Best of the Web Competition

AUGUSTA – Governor John E. Baldacci and Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky announced that Maine’s official web portal, www.Maine.gov, has won first place in the Center for Digital Government’s annual Best of the Web Competition. Maine has been nationally recognized as the best state government web portal in the 2004 Best of the Web national competition for eGovernment excellence.

The 2004 Best of the Web competition was conducted by the Center for Digital Government, an international research and advisory institute on the use of information technology in government. Now in its ninth year, Best of the Web evaluates government Web sites based on their innovation, Web-based delivery of public services, efficiency, economy and functionality.

“Maine.gov provides an essential service to Maine citizens, businesses and visitors,” said Governor John Baldacci. “The site makes state government more accessible and efficient. We seek to continually improve the portal, offering the best quality source of information to the public.”

Maine has built one of the nation’s most robust official Web portals through its innovative use of Internet technology. For the last five years, Maine’s Web site has been ranked among the top four state eGovernment portals in the annual Best of the Web competition. The InforME oversight board provides direction and prioritization of Maine’s portal directives.

“Quality and customer satisfaction are top priorities for the many online services delivered by the Department of the Secretary of State,” said Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky, who also serves as Chairman of the InforME Board. “We are honored that Maine has won Best of the Web and pleased that the Center for Digital Government has recognized the hard work of people throughout state government to bring meaningful services to the citizens of Maine.”

Launched in August 1999, Maine’s eGovernment portal receives approximately 1 million page hits per month. Maine.gov features more than 300 interactive services that help constituents interact more efficiently with government, including Governor Baldacci’s budget balancing tool, vehicles registration renewals, vanity plate availability checks, annual report filings, driver license and state ID renewal and replacement services, the public criminal history record search, the Business Answers online business start up assistant, and a sportsmen suite of more than fifty hunting and fishing license services, to name a few.

“The Internet has drastically changed the way people interact with their government,” said Maine’s Chief Information Officer Richard B. Thompson, Jr. “This is the 4th upgrade to the state’s website in 4 years. Customer service is at the heart of what we do.”

Local government content and services from more than 500 municipalities are available through the Maine.gov local portal section. Citizens have access to local officials, brief descriptions of the cities or towns and local points of contact among other services.

The new eDemocracy portal offers content and services from across a variety of government resources available through a single Web page. From the Maine.gov eDemocracy page, citizens and residents have easy and convenient access to democratic services such as election calendars and notifications, voter registration change of address forms and absentee ballot forms, democracy learning tools for students and educators and interactive communication tools for citizens to interact with elected officials, and a whole lot more.

“Maine’s commitment to its citizens, businesses and visitors through the delivery of services that are robust, accessible and easy to navigate are exemplified in the Maine.gov portal,” said Cathilea Robinett, Executive Director of the Center for Digital Government. “Maine’s success in winning this year’s Best of the Web rankings reflects the state’s true commitment to serving its citizens and businesses.”

Representatives from the Center for Digital Government, Government Technology magazine, State Technology, Inc., and state and local government officials from last year’s winning state, were on the judging panel for the 2003 Best of the Web contest.

About Maine.gov

Maine.gov is the official Web site of the state of Maine (www.maine.gov) and a service of the Information Resource of Maine (InforME). InforME is a collaborative effort between the state of Maine and New England Interactive, LLC. that helps Maine government entities Web-enable their information services. Maine.gov was built and is marketed, operated, and maintained by New England Interactive, LLC a wholly owned subsidiary of eGovernment firm NIC (Nasdaq:EGOV – News).