Our Opinion: Missouri posts advance in e-government

Access e-government via the state’s website and, ironically enough, up pops the latest about e-government.

Missouri has cracked the Top 10 in the rankings of best states in the nation in providing e-government services online, according to Mo.gov, the Official Missouri State Website. Our state is ranked 10th in a new survey by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, both listed as nonpartisan foundations.

The 2010 New State Economy Index report, released this month, listed Missouri among the five most-improved states in the area of e-government. In the 2007 survey, Missouri ranked 32nd.

A news release from the Office of Administration contained the obligatory pats on Gov. Jay Nixon’s back for his “leadership” and “call for greater transparency in state government.”

Fair enough, but we’re more impressed by the useful, practical applications the site offers for Missourians. Online services provide instructions, links and forms to: file an unemployment claim; obtain tax information; secure a job; locate a polling place; renew a driver’s license or register a vehicle; and more. Missourians even may register their gardens for a chance to win prizes in the 10,000 Garden Challenge.

Missouri is advancing not only in e-government services, but in extending those services to more Missourians. Last fall, the state helped secure more than $261 million for 19 projects to bring broadband access to underserved areas of the state.

Missouri’s leap from 32nd to 10th in e-government rankings is commendable. In embracing technology, the state provides added convenience for Missourians to access services, while saving both time and money.

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