LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Friday accepted the Center for Digital Government’s 2015 Best of the Web Award, which recognizes the state with the best government website in the nation.

LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Friday accepted the Center for Digital Government’s 2015 Best of the Web Award, which recognizes the state with the best government website in the nation.


Arkansas’s win this year was its second since the award program began in 1996.


Cathilea Robinett, executive vice president of the Sacaramento, Calif.-based Center for Digital Government, presented the award to Hutchinson in a ceremony at the state Capitol. She said the state’s website, Arkansas.gov, had to excel in many different aspects for the state to win.


"The number of services that you all have here is really unprecedented — I believe higher than any other state," she said. "Also, a few things: the transparency, the consistency, the functionality, the ease of use, and I really want to mention (mobile application) Gov2Go. That is something that’s very visionary, and where I think the future of e-government is going."


Robinett also said the per-capita use of online government services in Arkansas is one of the highest in the country, "so you’re really providing online engagement at a level that no other state is providing."


She praised the state for enacting the Information Network of Arkansas Act of 1995, which created a board charged with implementing a system for providing Arkansans with electronic access to government services. Jim Guy Tucker was the state’s governor at the time.


"Having this legislation 20 years ago, you were really ahead of your time," Robinett said.


Hutchinson said the award is "not just a recognition of technology but a recognition that in Arkansas we want citizen participation, citizen access and citizen utilization of these services."


Secretary of State Mark Martin said making government services available online allows state residents to obtain those services quickly and easily, no matter where they live.


"Another, indirect benefit of government technology is that government agencies operate more efficiently when their processes are automated and online," Martin said. "Just the nature of actually beginning to automate them causes us to streamline our processes very often and results in significant cost savings and operational efficiencies for the state, which saves our taxpayers money in addition to adding convenience to their lives."


The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government. The winners of this year’s awards, which also honor city, county, federal and international websites and applications, were first announced in September.


In the state category, second place went to Utah; third, Indiana; fourth, Mississippi; and fifth, Texas.


Arkansas previously won in 2011. Utah is the only other state to have won the award twice.