InforME Board Meeting

March 24, 2004

Members in Attendance:
Dan Gwadosky, Board Chair
Marilyn Lutz
Rick Record
Dick Hinkley
Jaynie Higgins
Anne Schink
Deb Carson
Gerry Dube
Cindy Butts
Gary Nicholas
Craig Hitchens - DHS
John Eldridge
Richard Trahey
Carrie Gott

Others Present:
Chip Gavin, staff to the Chair
Tim Poulin, CEC
Kelly Hokkanen, InforME
Todd Tolhurst, InforME
Renee Loring, InforME

Meeting Opens:

Chair opens with introductions of attendees.

I.     Consistency Initiative Prototype Demo:

The consistent portal initiative has been generated from the CIO’s Office and DAFS, under the directive of the Governor’s Office. The initiative’s development is the task of InforME. InforME has done a tremendous amount of research, project definition and initial web template design, all at no charge to the state of Maine. The new consistency templates will be introduced through a pilot agency group. This new consistent website is expected to have high impact on agencies and the public. The Board is shown the proposed template layouts and comments are noted.

The designs allow for a consistent template to enables agency flexibility as well as individuality. The CIO’s Office, DAFS and SOS websites are currently in the pilot, which will be expanded to other agencies soon.  

InforME will be providing design templates, including its code, Cascading style sheets (CSS), user manuals and a unique Department header that agencies will be able to build their websites into. Superior usability, consistency and accessibility are guaranteed.


Q: What is a cascading style sheet?

A: (InforME) A cascading style sheet is a single file that controls all pages within a website for global updating capability.

Q: Will clients be provided with a package to design there own websites?

A: (InforME) Packaging has not been decided yet, but it is proposed that design kits will be offered with the template for agency webmasters. InforME will still perform some template design. InforME has also offered to design headers for the Executive Branch Departments if desired. Training will most likely be offered for free within a large group session.

Q: How do hover menus effect accessibility?

A: (InforME) Access to a navigation menu must be done correctly to meet accessibility requirements.

Q: Is there thought to mandate these standards now?

A: (CIO) We are watching agency reaction.   The expectation is to have a somewhat standard compliance.


Q: What is the practical effect of the search engine change?

A: (InforME) The Google search engine upgrade was implemented based on user feedback. There were many complaints from users that the search capability was limiting. The old search engine was not producing the expected search results. Results from a Google Search are much more relevant and faster than the previous HTDIG search.   The transition has gone very well. For any site linked to the state-wide search engine the change was seamless. The investment in the Google Search engine has been paid back in the positive feedback and results we’ve experienced.

Q: Has there been a substantial increase in useage since changeover?

A: (InforME) This is not known yet. Google does have the capability to produce search statistics. We will follow-up with search results after a few months of use.

II.   UCC Designation of Trustee Process Filing and Search and UCC XML Filing, Secretary of State Schedule A Addendum

Tim Poulin, Secretary of State, Director of Corporations, provides an overview of these new proposed services. Due to legislation changes in the previous session, the trustee process has been given to the Bureau of Corporations, Elections, and Commissions (CEC) to manage. The CEC would like to create an electronic filing and search to streamline this inherited service. The filing fee is $25.00 for both a new filing and annual renewal. The search is free. The service would be offered to InforME subscribers only.

The UCC XML service uses an XML format that allows UCC tax lien filing through a computer to computer interface without human intervention. The CEC has been approached by the IRS to pursue an electronic filing application in this format. Statute has been implemented in this legislative session to allow for this. Maine will be used as a model in developing these standards to be used across the country. Another large company from CA is also interested in this service.   This service is proposed as a subscriber service. XML filing fees are $10.00 per filing. The proposed portal share is $2.00.

Motion: by Cindy Butts
Seconded: by Gary Nichols

The board votes unanimously to accept the proposed schedule A addendum of the SLA.


Q: Are there other companies that would be using the XML service?

A: (Tim Poulin) Yes, additional usage will develop around best practices that are currently being developed around the county.

III. IF&W Moses Schedule A Addendum

Rick Record and Carrie Gott provide an overview of the proposed addendum. This addendum documents a change in fee schedule for existing services. The fees are currently deposited directly into the state’s account, but IFW has requested that the fees be deposited into the InforME account and then ACHed weekly to the state’s account. To cover the additional banking fees that would result from this change, the portal share of the fees is also increasing from a flat $2 to $1 + 2% of the total transaction fee.


Q: Is there any one service in particular that causes an increase?

A: (Rick Record) No, the total of services share in this increase. However, the service’s adoption rates are also increasing which does lead to higher banking fees.

Q: How is the money tracked so that funds are going to the correct accounts?

A: (Rick Record) All funds are tracked through the State's TAMI system.

Q: What authority does an agency have to lesson the license fee?

A: (Rick Record) The fee isn't necessarily being reduced. There is already an agent fee that is currently in statute.  

Q: (InforME) Would it be helpful if someone from Audit spoke to the Board regarding this practice?

A: (Board) Not at this time.  

Q: Is there a citation omission on second page?

A: (InforME) No.

Motion:   Cindy Butts
Seconded: Dan Gwadosky

The Board votes with one opposed to accept the schedule A fee changes.

IV. Professional and Financial Regulation Schedule A Addendum Update

Carrie Gott gives an overview of the schedule change. This is not a new SLA, but a change to a current SLA. The new Professional and Financial Regulation (PFR) Commissioner would like to update the SLA list of services to reflect what the Department will be developing with InforME. The Dept is working with a third party to complete a new backend database that will change the scope of what can be delivered online. The new database will enable online service from all licensing Boards for not only renewals but also first time licensing as well; a significant service upgrade.  No new services or fees are proposed, but services are deleted from the current Schedule.

Q: Who is doing the backend?

A: (InforME) The software company Metro is designing a system that will allow InforME to share the same system with PFR. There will be an expansion of license types offered.

Motion: Cindy Butts
Seconded: Gary Nichols

The Board votes unanimously to accept the changes in the Schedule A.

V.    Bureau of Motor Vehicles Microfiche Service, Secretary of State SLA Schedule A Addendum

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles has requested that InforME provide the existing ninety microfiche customers with the same data offered electronically or in a CD-ROM format. Market research conducted by InforME found that several customers had no knowledge of current electronic services and resulted in new subscribers. The remainder of the 90 customers would be handled as special request customers by providing the data in electronic format or CD Rom for those without Internet access. The proposed fee is $100 per order.

InforME hopes to migrate most if not all of these customers to the current online record searches. Customers have been notified that the microfiche service will be going away very soon. This service currently costs the Office of the Secretary of State far more than what is charged to provide it.

Q: Will there be an additional cost for the data requested in CD format?

A: (InforME) No, fee is the same.

Q: How many records are contained in the database?

A: (InforME) Millions. The entire BMV database.

Motion: Rick Record
Seconded: John Eldridge

The Board votes unanimously to accept the proposed revenue share with BMV.

The Board agrees to go into executive session.

VI. Executive Session: Contract Negotiations

VII.      Strategic Plan Section I Review:

Carrie Gott reviews updates to the Strategic Plan Goal #1:

Goal #1:

Maintain as a self-supporting portal of excellence that places users’ needs first and delivers superior electronic services to the public.”


Design and implement a consistency initiative across state agencies so as to increase usability, accessibility and branding.


1)   Work with the CIO’s office and DAFS to create concept.

2)   Coordinate agency pilot group.

3)   Design templates and get approval from State, InforME Board and pilot group.

4)   Write user documentation and build website with templates.

5)   Create support plan.

6)   Distribute and promote and provide training.

7)    Re-design to match templates


Design and implement a consistency initiative across online services and cross promote similar services through a standard eGov service template.


1)   Create InforME e-service template concept to include layout and link standards as well as cross promotional service links.

2)   Design and build e-service template.

3)   Implement e-service template with initial services and make any adjustments necessary.

4)   Implement. Use Webmaster Group and PM process to communicate new service template concept.

5)   Monitor user feedback and make adjustments when necessary.


Q: What is the difference between objective one and objective two?

A: (InforME) One is focused on a statewide static look and feel and the second focuses on standardizing services to cross promote like services. This is more about the layout and look and feel for service applications. Similar consistency purposes.

It is suggested that perhaps wording differentiating these goals may be helpful.


Upgrade Portal content and delivery.


1)   Develop an interactive searchable State Directory of contact information. Partner with BIS.

2)   Upgrade portal content delivery mechanisms.

3)   Develop a Subscription Center.

4)   Develop eDemocracy Channel on

5)   Revised Help Center.

6)   Work with MEGIS to explore the possibilities of adding GIS functionality to Determine a list of possible services.

7)   Purchase and install the Google Search appliance to Implement for all agency sites.

8)   Expand use of CCS portal pages to increase efficiencies and provide better delivery.

9)   Add RSS to news content.

10) Explore viability of a portal link management system and more wireless services.


Q: What is a revised help center?

A: (InforME) InforME would like to expand its current help section on the portal. This would include search tips to using the Google search engine, changing the text layout on a monitor screen, etc. Provide more assistance to users.


Develop cross agency/cross jurisdictional mini-portals available at  


1)   Create plan for cross-agency mini-portal for Professional Licensing. Implement

2)   Create plan for county and municipal mini-portal. Implement.

3)   Create plan for cross agency/cross jurisdictional business licensing portal. Implement.   

4)   Create plan for the Sportmen Suite of Services mini-portal. Implement.


Measure and Maintain Customer Satisfaction.  


1)   Upgrade and diversify satisfaction surveys that target all customer groups.  

2)   Conduct satisfaction surveys.

3)   Write satisfaction survey report and identify areas of improvement.

4)   Create improvement/enhancement roll-out plan.

 Q: Who are the customer groups to be surveyed?

A: (InforME) State agencies, targeted users, subscribers, municipalities.


Prioritize online services to grow the Portal and its resources.


1)   Board uses prioritization process for project queue.   

2)   Create list of high demand online services for Board to pursue.

3)   Evaluate existing low volume online services and create upgrade plans to achieve higher adoption rates.


InforME will present Strategic Goal #2 at next Board meeting.


InforME statistics have been included in meeting’s handouts.

Other Notes:

Jaynie Higgins and Cindy Butts terms to expire.

Names for user association vacancies are needed to submit to Gov's office

VIII.   Next Board meeting:

April 28, 2004 at 1:00 pm

May 19, 2004 at 1:00 pm

Meeting adjourns at: 3:20 pm