December 8, 2006 By News Report
New features on the redesigned site include real-time local weather conditions, improved search capabilities powered by Google and expanded self-service capabilities for many city services such as payment of city bills, online registration for Parks and Recreation Department classes and online access to Police incident reports.
The VBgov.com redesign continues a strong initiative to improve the city's customer service offerings. In addition to the city's recently implemented 311 service and popular online assistance service, the new site provides an opportunity to conduct city business through ease of use and 24-hour access to the city's most commonly requested services and information.
Gwen K. Cowart, director of communications and information technology, explains the goal. "Virginia Beach considers customer service to be one of its highest priorities. For many years, VBgov.com has been a valuable resource to all of us as citizens and this will continue. With the release of this new site design, we have focused on providing site visitors with enhanced, user-friendly access to the services and information they need, without having to navigate through multiple levels of content. Additionally, the close connection between VBgov.com, Online Assistance, and the 311 Center ensures that our citizens will get the answers and assistance they need in the way they are most comfortable -- self help, online assistance or via the phone."
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.