NIC this month launched the first digital personal government assistant, Gov2Go, at the annual NASCIO conference. Gov2Go, which is hosted on Microsoft’s Azure public cloud, centralizes services citizens need at the local, state, and Federal level. While the platform was already in use in a few states, the recent launch marks the nationwide rollout.
The platform essentially acts as a personal assistant for citizens. The platform can centralize many of the interactions a citizen has with the state, local, and Federal government into one app. Citizens would no longer have to navigate multiple websites, portals, or mobile apps to engage with the government. While the app collects personal information about the user, including name, address, and potential payment information, citizens can choose how much information to give and can remove any information off the platform.
“We’ve done user focus groups and have been able to validate that citizens want a single view into government,” said Amy Sawyer, general manager for Gov2Go.
Citizens of all states now have access to important election information, including scheduling, ballot information, and access to the voter registration process. Additionally, all citizens can now purchase passes to select national parks and U.S. Forest Service sites, and receive Amber Alert notifications. The new rollout also includes a new biometrics capability, giving users a touch ID login.
States can choose to add additional services and resources to the platform, including vehicle tag renewal, property tax payment, professional licensing renewal, recreational licensing, and permitting. Gov2Go also offers a one-click payment option and can send users push notifications with reminders of upcoming renewal dates for government licenses.
For states looking to roll out a similar solution, Sawyer said Gov2Go offers a proven option.
“This is a live solution today,” Sawyer said. “Twenty percent of all adults in Arkansas are already receiving notifications from Gov2Go.”
Gov2Go is also a device-neutral platform, NIC says. Users can assess the platform via a desktop, mobile device, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. The app can also be downloaded for both iOS and Android devices.
In the future, NIC hopes to expand and adapt the platform to include voice-activated services via Microsoft Cortana, Amazon Echo, Google Home, and similar voice-command devices.
Perhaps more importantly, NIC has significant experience in e-government and handling financial transactions.
“We have more than 20 years experience processing payments for state and local governments,” Sawyer said. “We have a secure infrastructure that meets the requirements set down by our state partners. When you look at the importance of security, we have the certifications that are appropriate for these types of services.”
Sawyer views Gov2Go as a complement to a state or city’s existing digital services, not necessarily a replacement.
“We’re saying Gov2Go is another channel governments can use to expand their digital strategy,” Sawyer said. “There’s the possibility that this could be the one solution for governments, but government is also highly fragmented. So, we’re not saying use this and nothing else. Gov2Go is just another approach. If you’re finding that it’s useful, you can always add more services.”
In terms of what can or will be offered in the future, Sawyer wants to take things local.
“I would like Gov2Go to get more and more hyper local,” she said. “There’s going to be a core set of state services that citizens need and get value from. Beyond that, we’re really looking to leverage artificial intelligence to make Gov2Go better and more predictive. Once Gov2Go knows four or five things about a citizen, it can map specific services to them.”