A Public Integrity Reporting System Application

June 28th, 2013

The Public Integrity Reporting SystemDelawareans keeping a close eye on their government have a new tool this year. The Delaware Public Integrity Commission’s new online Public Integrity Reporting System went live in January, when lobbyists and public officials were introduced to the system, guided through setting up their accounts, and started filing their required financial disclosure reports.

The new system, developed for the GIC by Delaware Interactive as part of the Delaware eGovernment Initiative, helps meet Governor Markell’s goal of providing greater transparency and accessible data to the public. It gives lobbyists and public officials a portal to file their transparency reports and gives the public a place to search for and explore those reports.

An On-Line Veterans Services Directory

June 21st, 2013

Delaware Veterans Services DirectoryThe Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs has launched a new on-line Veterans Services Directory, created by the Government Information Center, to provide a central, on-line place where those who provide services for veterans can post information and where veterans and their families can find that information.

Service providers create an account on the directory through which they can post, and update, a service profile which includes vital information about the types of service they provide and how veterans can access those services. Veterans and their families can search for services by type of service, location, and other factors.

Types of services include employment, housing, educational and medical services, among others. More than 30 organizations have already posted service profiles; that number is expected to grow.

The Directory is part of a growing collection of eGovernment applications created to help Delaware residents, businesses and visitors access government services as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Local Governments Have Started Using the Public Meeting Calendar

May 30th, 2013

The Delaware Public Meeting Calendar (calendar.delaware.gov) now includes a small number of local government meetings, along with state agency meetings.

The recent update of the Calendar system added the ability for local governments to join and post their meetings. While state agencies are required to use the system, local governments are not; recent legislation tasked the GIC with opening the Calendar to any interested local governments.

The first local government body to add their meetings to the Calendar has been the Lewes Board of Public Works, which provides utility services to the City of Lewes.

Delaware.gov is now a Responsive Web Site

April 30th, 2013

The delaware.gov portal has been re-engineered as a fully responsive site, to make it easier for visitors to use the site and the large volume of information it serves on all web-browsing devices. The portal has also been tuned to make it faster-loading and “lighter” in your browser.

Image of the delaware.gov portal

Responsive web design is a new approach to designing web sites which recognizes that a rapidly growing portion of the web-surfing public is using mobile devices — smartphones and tablets — to access content. Responsive sites are designed to adjust to meet the various screen sizes of different devices, from large desktop screens to handheld smartphone screens.

delaware.gov on a smartphoneUntil now, the Government Information Center maintained a separate, very limited selection of portal content at mobile.delaware.gov. With responsive design, that site is no longer needed; state portal content is published once in a portal that automatically adjusts to match the devices, and screen sizes, used by all visitors.

The new responsive design has been implemented on the delaware.gov portal and on the portal topics pages that provide links to a broad range of state resources. Several other sites within the state system, notably Governor Markell’s web site, have also moved to the new, responsive architecture.

Responsive web design, and the architecture implemented in the new version of the delaware.gov portal, form the basis for a new statewide Common Look and Feel standard and Web Content Guidelines recently approved by the state’s IT agency. Over the rest of 2013, the new Common Look and Feel will be adopted by the rest of the web pages that follow the state’s main IT standards.

Public Meeting Calendar Updated

April 19th, 2013

The Delaware Public Meeting Calendar application created by eGovernment partner Delaware Interactive has been updated with a new release that adds functionality, refines the public view of meeting information, and opens the system to use by local governments.

Public Meeting CalendarThe latest release of the Calendar includes reminders for state agency personnel who post meetings to help them meet the requirements of the state’s Freedom of Information Act.  The calendar view seen by the public has been upgraded to include more information and to reformat that information. Users can now, for example, use a calendar style “date-picker” to search for meetings.

And the system has been expanded to allow use by local government agencies — municipalities, counties, regional organizations and the like. No local governments have yet signed up, but GIC staff are talking to several about using the system.

The Public Meeting Calendar was originally released in spring of 2012. It replaced an older calendar system that had been in place for 8 years, but which depended out out-dated technology.

Another New Smartphone App: Mobile Crime Tips

April 2nd, 2013

Screen shot of DSP Crime Tip AppDelawareans can now use their smartphones to send crime tips to Delaware State Police. A new Mobile Crime Tips app has been added to the collection of apps available at apps.delaware.gov. The app, announced by the Delaware State Police, allows users to report information on possible crime activity directly to a special State Police e-mail address.

Users can report a wide variety of information, including locations, activity descriptions, descriptions of subjects and vehicles, and photographs directly to the Police. Users can make their reports anonymously, if they like.

Apart from the mobile application, anyone who wishes to submit a tip may do so by calling the toll-free number 800-TIP-3333, emailing the DSP directly at crimestoppers@state.de.us or by submitting information online.

The State Police Crime Tips app joins a growing list of smartphone apps that includes an app to report suspicious activity to Delaware’s homeland security officials. The Delaware Force 1-2 app helps Delawareans make reports to the Delaware Information Analysis Center (DIAC).

Delaware.gov’s First Windows 8 App Released

March 27th, 2013

The Delaware Department of Agriculture has announced the release of a Windows 8 version of the popular Delaware Fresh app.  The new app was created by eGovernment partner Delaware Interactive and based on the iPhone and Android versions of Delaware Fresh. All are available at apps.delaware.gov.

Delaware Fresh, Windows 8 screen shotDelaware Fresh provides a seasonally updated listing of farmer’s markets and other agritourism sites in Delaware presented on an interactive map, with details, links to web sites and driving directions.

Windows 8 apps are designed to work on a wide variety of web-browsing devices, from mobile phones and tablets to Windows 8 desktops. This version of Delaware Fresh is the first Windows 8 app developed as part of the Delaware eGovernment initiative.

Delaware’s Latest eGovernment Solution Will Make Car Buying Faster and More Efficient

March 8th, 2013

DMV LogoGetting a temporary tag when you buy a car in Delaware is getting faster and more efficient with the launch of a new, web-based print-on-demand system that allows car dealers to print “T-tags” for their customers on-site when the sale is made. The new system was developed for the Division of Motor Vehicles by Delaware Interactive, working through the Government Information Center, as part of Delaware’s eGovernment initiative.

The new system , which will streamline data transfer between the dealers and DMV and will replace some of the paperwork now required, has been tested by a group of dealerships involved in a pilot program. It will now be made available to dealerships throughout the state.

Moving to the on-line T-tag system is expected to save time and money for both dealers and the DMV. It replaces paperwork, cuts down on manual data entry, and decreases the administrative burden on both the state and the dealerships. The new tags will also make it easier for law enforcement officials to identify legitimate owners based on the new tags, since ownership information will now be automatically and instantly entered into the state’s databases.

Here’s a Simple Widget to Show Readers the Latest Flag Status

March 6th, 2013

Flag Status ExampleThe GIC, working with OMB, has developed a simple news page focused on Flag Status questions, such as “why are the flags at half-staff?” The Flag Status page presents a simple graphic representation of the status of both the US and State of Delaware flags and provides links to recent flag-related news in Delaware.

GIC has created a small, simple flag status widget that web masters can add to their pages that will always reflect the latest updated flag status and will link to the flag status page. You can see an example on our home page.

This widget is inserted as an iFrame using the code found in this PDF:

Flag Status Code (Open PDF to copy code)

The align=”right” element causes this image to align itself on the right side of the page. Delete this section and the widget will appear in the center of a page. Make it align=”left” to have the widget appear to the left of your text.

New Street Addresses for Some State Agencies

January 19th, 2013

Three streets in Dover have been renamed, as of January 19, 2013. Court Street became Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., William Penn Street became Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. South, and Duke of York Street became Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. North.

That means that a number of state offices, including the Governor’s Dover office, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Delaware Public Archives have new addresses. Our business cards will be out of date for a bit, but we can, and did, start updating web site information this week.

Web site managers at OMB report updating over 30 pages. Here at GIC, we reviewed and updated addresses in the database that feeds the public Phone Directory Search tool. That database also provides location information for a number of the affected agency web sites, which makes the update easier. But we’re on the watch for pages, with address information, that we may have missed.

If you see an outdated address on a state agency web site, please send us a short note at gic@delaware.gov and let us know the offending URL.

What we can’t control is the data found in on-line maps such as Google Maps and Bing. We, and the city of Dover, have submitted reports to some of these sites alerting them to the change, but updating national data sets takes time. So forgive us, please, if a locations page we post includes a correct Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in text but shows a map with a pin along William Penn Street.