State of California Launches Redesigned Web Portal

State Technology Update - June 23, 2009

State Chief Information Officer Teri Takai today launched the State of California’s newly redesigned Web portal, CA.gov.  With an improved, interactive design, it links to new features, including widgets, social networking Web sites and news and information provided by state agencies, departments, boards, commissions and more.   The new Web portal builds upon its award-winning features with a bolder new look, featuring a prominent, colorful focal point and an inviting “highlights” carousel.

“With more than 6 million visitors each month, the CA.gov portal organizes vast amounts of data, serving the public, whether it is a constituent searching for services, a tourist considering visiting the Golden State or an interest group researching the fine details of state government operations,” said Teri Takai, California’s Chief Information Officer.   “I am pleased to launch this updated portal, designed to make it easier for visitors to navigate through all of the valuable resources and learn more about our great state. It is a one-stop destination for residents and businesses that need relevant, immediate access to government services and information.”

A “Connect With Us” area provides quick and easy access to California’s mobile website as well as social media links such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and MySpace. A new “Subscribe CA” area allows users the ability to subscribe to RSS feeds, email alerts, podcasts, and widgets. California’s gallery of widgets can be added to individual blogs, web pages, and other social networking sites such as iGoogle or Facebook.

The homepage features quick and easy access to the site’s most essential features, including links to the state agency directory, hundreds of online services, and live help with a state operator. The accessible design is aimed at easing the burden of locating information on State government programs and services. Most accessed content has been packaged into categories such as living, working, and visiting California so they are easy to find.

The CA.gov portal provides access to more than 4 million pages of information, services, and on-line transactions from 155 state agency Web sites.  Some features that can be found through the portal include:

  • More than 1000 live highway traffic camera feeds,
  • More than 700 online services, ranging from professional licensing to applications for benefits and more,
  • More than 540 government-sponsored YouTube videos,
  • N11 directory services for traffic, traveler, repair, community, health, disaster, emergency and other local information,
  • A live help operator available to chat Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time,
  • 10 major state photo galleries with tens of thousands of photos,
  • More than 100 state social networking websites,
  • 24 state agencies with various RSS feeds; and
  • 51 state agency email alert subscriptions.

California’s state portal ranked three in the Best of Web awards last year. (Center for Digital Government, Best of Web, 2008)  

The CA.gov design incorporates standards from the award-winning Web Tools http://webtools.CA.gov/. (Center for Digital Government, Best of California, 2007)

Governor Schwarzenegger has made it a priority to publish information on the Internet to improve services for Californians and increase government transparency and accountability.  In April, he launched the Reporting Transparency in Government Web site to make publicly available the statement of economic interests, Form 700s and the travel expense claims for the Governor’s office senior staff and deputies, agency secretaries, agency undersecretaries and department directors.   On June 4, 2009, he signed Executive Order S-08-09 and launched a new component to the Web site that will require all state contracts valued at $5,000 or more to be posted online. It will also list both the internal and external audits of state departments and agencies, including information on operations, budget and programs, dating back to January 1, 2008.

On June 10, 2009, the Governor launched a new feature called “Waste Watchers” on his Web site at www.gov.ca.gov and his Reporting Transparency site. The Waste Watchers site allows state employees and other Californians to go online and report any government waste they may be aware of, either anonymously or by name.

The Web site, Recovery.ca.gov was also launched by the Governor earlier this year as a one-stop site to track how Recovery Act funding is coming into and being used in California.

Last year, the Governor launched California School Finder which allows parents to easily find and compare schools side-by-side on data such as graduation rates and Academic Performance Index (API) scores, as well as information on student support services and advanced placement courses, in a one-stop easy-to-navigate Web site. 

On May 10, 2009, The Governor’s Reorganization Plan (GRP) realigned key information technology resources, including the Department of Technology Services (DTS) under the leadership of the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) to enhance efficiency and bolster performance. The reorganization is creating more accountability and providing a framework to enhance the IT workforce that supports the computer systems, among other things. It is estimated to achieve a cost savings and cost avoidance of $1.5 billion.

Specifically, the GRP:

  • Integrates four agencies - the OCIO, Office of Information Security and Privacy Protection (Office of Information Security), DTS and Department of General Services' Telecommunications Division - into an expanded OCIO,
  • Provides the State Chief Information Officer with authority for IT procurement policy and enterprise IT management,
  • Achieves consolidation of software contracts, office automation tools, data centers/computer rooms, servers, storage and networks over the course of five years; and
  • Preserves program-specific IT systems and budgets at the agency level.

Media Contact: Bill Maile (916) 549-2845