Published on September 26, 2019
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The City of Grand Rapids has earned national recognition for the way in which it offers sophisticated digital user experiences. The City’s GR PayIt program earned the Center for Digital Government’s 2019 City Government Experience Award and the City’s website portal placed fourth in the Overall City Government Experience competition.
The awards recognize the achievements and best practices of states, cities and counties that are radically improving the experience of government and pushing the boundaries of how citizen services are delivered. The City will be honored at an awards event Sept. 27 in Denver.
“This year’s results are evidence that state and local government agencies are continuing to grow the sophistication of their digital experiences,” said Dustin Haisler, chief innovation officer of the Center for Digital Government. “The Government Experience Award winners from this year are not just leveraging innovative tools like chatbots to amplify their reach, they are also going the extra mile to build a proper foundation to support the future and ensure citizens get the right information at the right time.”
In the Project Experience City Government category, Grand Rapids’ GR PayIt program was listed among the best in the nation. In 2017, the City contracted with a new online credit card payment processor that allowed customers to have one login ID and password with the ability to link multiple accounts. Under the new mobile responsive service – available at Google Play and App Store – GR PayIt customers can access owed property taxes, outstanding water bills and refuse account balances. They also can sign up for autopay and auto reload. GR PayIt averages 32,000 interactions per month.
Grand Rapids joined five other communities in earning the Government Experience Award – Riverside, San Diego and Roseville, Calif. and Mesa and Gilbert, Ariz. Beginning in 2016 and culminating in 2018, the City developed its digital services initiative that resulted in a new website: grandrapidsmi.gov. The government portal prioritizes digital services, includes mobile apps for community engagement and online payment, and provides regular opportunities for resident feedback via online forms and website submission, among other services. The site is fully mobile responsive and reprioritizes the top tasks for mobile users distinct from those accessing the website via a computer.
Today, grandrapidsmi.gov offers more than 250 online services, with new services added each month. Users have compiled more than 2 million page views and completed more than 45,000 online forms.
In addition to the Government Experience Award, the City’s website redesign initiative has garnered recognition through the National Association of Government Web Professional Pinnacle Award, U.S. Conference of Mayors Livability Award and Next Generation of Government Training Summit Public Service Award competitions.
“We're honored to have our digital services selected for these designations,” said Becky Jo Glover, the City’s chief customer service and innovation officer. “This national recognition affirms our work to create a robust, useful and user-friendly digital experience for our community.”
The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute focused on information technology policy and best practices in state and local government.