Mississippi has finalized a contract with NIC USA that will outsource the design and management of the state’s Web portal and related e-government services.

The five-year deal will include a redesign of MS.gov and develop more online services and transactional fees that will in effect make the Web portal self-funded. Mississippi Interactive, an NIC subsidiary based in the city of Jackson, will lead the state’s e-government work, while policymaking will remain in the state’s Department of Information Technology Services.

NIC has come to dominate the market as the only vendor currently managing state e-government programs. Mississippi is the company’s 24th state Web portal, according to a company spokesperson. The vendor also manages e-government services for two federal agencies and numerous local governments.

Mississippi’s Web portal has been redesigned only once since 2001, according to the RFP the state initiated last year that sought a vendor partner. The site links to approximately 3,100 websites and averages nearly 12,000 visits per day, according to the state IT department’s newsletter.

Through the portal, nearly 200,000 transactions have been conducted, which have generated $1.3 million in revenue that is invested in the state’s e-government program.

The new MS.gov will include more e-government applications, mobile apps, the inclusion of social networking, an updated content management system for state agencies, and more options for payment processing.

Mississippi scored a B grade in the 2010 Digital States Survey, a comprehensive examination of state government technology practices conducted by the Center for Digital Government, the research and advisory division of e.Republic, publisher of Government Technology.

David Litchliter, the state’s CIO, wasn’t immediately available for comment Wednesday, March 30. He did say in a statement released by NIC that the public-private partnership would bring the state “the very best online government services.”

“This relationship opens doors to more online services and provides Mississippi’s businesses and citizens convenient, secure and transparent state government online transactions,” he said.

Matt Williams Matt Williams  |  Contributing Writer

Matt Williams was previously the news editor of Govtech.com, and is now a contributor to Government Technology and Public CIO magazines.