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Collaborative State Project Wins Award from National CIO Group

Several departments teamed up to produce a digital assistant for Texans.

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A collaborative IT project of several state departments has been recognized with a national award. The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) announced the winners of its State IT Recognition Awards at its annual conference in Louisville, Ky.

The Texas by Texas (TxT) digital assistant, created by the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR), won the award for Digital Services: Government to Citizen. The concept was to offer residents access to multiple government services through the web, such as driver's license and vehicle registrations and renewals, and more services are being considered.

The award submission described the digital assistant as “the most exciting digital transformation initiatives underway in Texas. It represents the culmination of a multiyear effort by the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) to improve how Texans consume government services in line with the streamlined, one-stop shop experiences they have come to expect in other aspects of their lives. TxT also enables Texas government agencies to integrate their high-value, constituent-facing services on an account-based, centralized, and trusted platform for users.

“In collaboration with other state agencies, including Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV), and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), as well as a private-sector third-party vendor (Deloitte), we have successfully integrated three services on the TxT platform, which includes a responsive web application as well as iOS and Android mobile apps. DIR is in active conversations to bring more agencies and services onto TxT in the near future.”

DMV CIO Wendy Barron spoke about the collaboration at an Industry Insider — Texas Member Briefing earlier this year.

As far as working with DIR, Barron was candid about the challenges.

“Initially we kind of had some stumbling blocks there,” Barron said, “but we were able to work through that and move the project forward.”

She continued: “It's this new concept where it's a shared application; it's not DMV’s application or it's not DIR’s application. It's ‘our’ application. So you know, this being somewhat of a new program, there was a lot of collaboration with DIR, a lot of feedback.”

NASCIO states and territories submitted almost 90 entries, according to the association’s website, and 55 NASCIO members volunteered as judges.
Darren Nielsen is the lead editor for Industry Insider — Texas. He has worked for, or with, newspapers across Texas, including The Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, beginning in 1994. He has also worked as an editor for a major tech company. He lives in Austin.