Center for Digital Government awards Washington state top marks for innovative, high-performance IT solutions

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The Center for Digital Government has awarded Washington state top marks in its semi-annual Digital States Survey for 2020.

Washington was given an overall grade of A- and also recognized as one of the “Top 3” states for its exemplary work in Data Driven Government in the state’s use of systematic data-based analytical mechanisms and techniques that are used to efficiently and effectively manage the states’ business as well as IT functions.

“This represents a remarkable achievement on the part of all IT employees who work at the state and local level helping deliver critical services to our citizens,” said WaTech Director and State CIO Jim Weaver. “They deserve this recognition, and they should be proud.”

Under the Digital States criteria, a grade of “A” reflects strong innovation and high-performing solutions with verifiable impacts across all categories. This grade also indicates excellent practices have been applied in all aspects of the state’s IT operations, governance and administration.

In its description of Washington state, the Center for Digital Government highlighted several IT accomplishments, including:

  • The Department of Licensing’s $63.2 million upgrade to eliminate an antiquated system with commercial off-the-self software to provide an integrated system with new efficiencies, reliability and security.
  • Employment Security Department’s new Paid Family and Medical Leave program, which allows most workers in the state up to 12 weeks of paid time off following the birth of a child, a serious health condition for the worker or certain close family members, and some forms of military service.
  • The Department of Ecology’s revamped eComments application, allowing the state to more efficiently manage more than 400 public comment sessions every year. The new system makes it easier for residents to file comments, and easier for staff to sort and manage them.
  • The state’s IT Project Dashboard, where the public and agencies can access information about state projects approved by Office of the Chief Information Officer. 
  • The Washington Cyber Information Exchange, or WaCIX, which helps more than 90 state agencies, counties and cities share information with each other about cyberthreats they are seeing. 

Over the past several years Washington has seen significant progress on the performance of its IT projects and management practices: According to the 2018 Digital States survey the state was awarded a grade of A- for showing significant improvement over 2016 and demonstrating “a balanced and well-focused approach across all survey areas,” including collaboration, networking, public safety, transportation and computing.

“2020 has been a year that challenged all technology organizations to support state employees, citizens and businesses,” said Center for Digital Government Executive Director Teri Takai. “The survey was designed to highlight best and emerging practices that can be shared – success in one state can help fuel progress in others.”

The Center for Digital Government awarded a letter grade to each of the 50 states. The letter grades provide a way of assessing progress over time within individual states – all with the end goal of improving performance, state by state.

Since its inception 23 years ago, this biennial e-survey has helped benchmark state government use of digital technologies to improve service delivery, increase capacity and reach policy goals.

View the complete list of awards on the Digital States Survey 2020 site.

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