Rhode Island Taps NIC for E-Gov Portal

National Information Consortium Inc. has won a five-year contract to build and manage an e-government portal for the state of Rhode Island, the company announced July 2.

Rhode Island signed the agreement on June 25 with New England Interactive, a subsidiary of NIC of Overland Park, Kan. New England Interactive also operates the portal for the state of Maine.

NIC will provide the infrastructure and staff expertise required to develop, maintain and host the e-government services, while Rhode Island will retain the ownership of the content, data and statutory fees, NIC said.

The portal is scheduled to launch in fall 2001.

The majority of the e-government services will be free to citizens, although a fee may be charged for a small number of applications to support the portal's maintenance and development, NIC said.

Among the online applications expected are state employment opportunities, professional license renewals, and driver and vehicle registrations.

"Rhode Island wanted to build a self-funding e-government system for its constituents, and we're pleased that NIC could design an innovative solution to meet our unique needs," said Barbara Weaver, Rhode Island's chief information officer.

Weaver said that the Rhode Island business community will benefit considerably from the convenience of online government, but did not elaborate further.

With the Rhode Island award, NIC now manages 15 state portals and eight local portals throughout the United States and Canada.

NIC has 345 employees and revenue of $8 million on $22.5 million gross billings in the first quarter of 2001, said Chris Neff, a spokesman for NIC. The company will announce its second quarter earnings on July 26, he said.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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