The clunky, old indy.gov website will be history at the beginning of next year, replaced with my.indy.gov, a portal designed specifically to help residents conduct city business online and avoid trips to the City-County Building.
We applaud Mayor Joe Hogsett’s administration for prioritizing this long-overdue upgrade to a website that, according to the city, predates the iPhone.
Rather than simply redesigning the site, Indianapolis Chief Information Officer Ken Clark pushed for and got permission to do a complete overhaul of the site’s infrastructure, setting the stage for a portal that will accept everything from property tax appeals to requests for new streetlights.
After meeting with every city agency and department to find out what they wanted to do better, Clark and his team came up with a list of 1,000 services. More than 50 of those, some of which are completely new, are now available at the site and many more are to be added in 2019.
Having a fully functional and interactive website in 2018 seems like a low bar for a city the size of Indianapolis, but the city is picking up accolades for the $2.4 million effort, known as Shift Indy.
Though Clark admits the city is playing catch-up, the California-based Center for Digital Government was impressed enough to make Indianapolis a finalist in its “government experience” awards program. And the Association of Indiana Counties suspended its policy of not giving out awards for technology upgrades to give Marion County its local government cooperation award.
We encourage the city to not only complete implementation of the site but to fully fund continual upgrades. The public’s expectation of being able to interact with city government online, without a trip downtown, will only grow.
That growth should dovetail nicely with the city’s Indy 3.0 initiative, launched by Hogsett earlier this year to re-evaluate, and ideally shrink, the city’s downtown real estate footprint.
“We acknowledge that the future of serving Indianapolis residents looks a lot more like an iPhone than it does a 25-story office building,” Hogsett said in his State of the City speech, referring to the more than 55-year-old City-County Building.
My.indy.gov is a promising first step toward more efficient, user-friendly city government.•