Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro this week signed an executive order that both cements his customer service transformation strategy and establishes the Commonwealth Office of Digital Experience (CODE PA) to improve online services for Pennsylvanians and streamline the way they interact with the state government online.

“Pennsylvanians rely on digital services every day – whether it’s renewing a license, accessing their health care benefits, or reserving a campsite at a state park. We need to meet people where they are and make it easier to work with the Commonwealth online,” said Governor Shapiro.

“There should be no wrong door for Pennsylvanians looking to access government services – and under the leadership of CODE PA, we will create human-centered, user-friendly, reliable, and accessible digital services that create opportunity for Pennsylvanians to take advantage of all the resources and benefits the Commonwealth has to offer,” the governor said.

As part of its mission, CODE PA will make it easier for Pennsylvanians to connect with resources provided by the government. Gov. Shapiro’s office noted in a press release that currently residents are able to use the state’s websites and digital services to renew their vehicle registration, pay their taxes, and get  licenses that help further their careers, among other capabilities.

Gov. Shapiro’s office stressed that CODE PA will work to provide digital services that are “responsive, user-friendly, and accessible to every Pennsylvanian.”

Specifically, CODE PA will work on:

  • Creating a single, easy-to-use application where residents and businesses can easily apply for and find all of the permits they need for a particular project;
  • Building a cross-agency product that allows residents to apply for related benefits that currently live separately with the Department of Human Services (DHS), the Department Of Health (DOH), and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and make them available through one platform; and
  • Bringing offline forms online, creating a digital path to accessing services currently only available through paper forms at a Commonwealth office.

The new office, which will be led by Bryanna Pardoe, will help save taxpayers money in the long run by reducing reliance on expensive contracts with external consultants and vendors. In addition to Pardoe, the state is also looking to hire for six additionally leadership positions for CODE PA.

“As a Pennsylvania resident and digital experience professional, I am excited for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform how we interact with state government,” said CODE PA Executive Director Pardoe. “My goal for this team is pretty simple: I want to help make digital experiences easy for every Pennsylvanian and I want to make it the best in the country.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs