Virginia Splits Up E-Gov Service Contracts

Contracts for Virginia’s website, hosting and Web application development have been separated as NIC prepares to step aside.

by / April 18, 2012
Virginia CIO Sam Nixon

The agency that manages Virginia’s information technology has finished unbundling the state’s major e-government services contracts, officials announced Wednesday, April 18.

In this the new approach, the Virginia Information Technologies Agency has awarded contracts to multiple suppliers that will succeed Virginia’s current e-government provider, NIC. According to an announcement from state CIO Sam Nixon, due to existing state law NIC was not eligible to renew management contracts for Virginia’s website, hosting and Web applications. Virginia Interactive, an NIC subsidiary, had managed the state’s website and e-government portfolio since 1997.

Nixon credited the company with “exemplary performance” the past 15 years. Virginia’s contract with NIC expires Aug. 31, and the company will continue to provide services through a transition phase. Calls to Virginia for comment were not immediately returned.

“While we were unable to reach an agreement with the commonwealth of Virginia, NIC remains committed to providing world-class e-government innovation,” NIC CEO Harry Herington said in a statement given to Government Technology on Wednesday. “We will provide Virginia agencies with impeccable service during this transition period, and are focused on the bright future we see for NIC.”

The new multi-vendor approach presents the opportunity for more choices for Virginia’s government customers, Nixon said. Richmond, Va.-based CapTechVentures will take over the state’s website, and state agencies will be able to choose among several vendors for hosting, Web application development, and operations and management.

It appears Virginia will continue to utilize a fee-based approach in order to fund the management of its e-government services and projects. In this paradigm, a core tenet of NIC’s business model, transaction fees are assessed on a number of business-to-government services, such as licensure and registration.