Larimer County's web site, the Virtual Courthouse, is the recipient of a national award for e-governance excellence.
The National Academy of Public Administration and the National Association of Counties (NACo) announced the winners of the First Annual Seal of Good eGovernance Awards. The award recognizes best practices and innovation in e-government initiatives in county governments.
Winning a silver, eGovernance Award of Distinction, means Larimer County's web site will now display the program's silver seal, the award program's second-highest honor. Only five counties from across the nation, in Larimer County's population category (250,000-500,000), were honored with this award (Larimer County's population is currently just over 260,000 people). Applicants' web sites were judged on seven criteria including their degree of user-friendliness, partnerships with other government organizations; innovative use of technology; and degree of privacy/security.
Larimer County's web site receives about 600,000 user hits per month and provides citizens and businesses with an online resource center to acquire information, conduct county business, and share their opinion with elected officials and county staff. The Virtual Courthouse allows citizens an alternative to physically visiting or telephoning county offices to meet their needs for county services. Larimer's web site was developed and is maintained by web administrator Steve Moore, "We're very proud of the services we offer at our web site. For the past two years we've been chosen "best web site" in the regional business newspaper's, Northern Colorado Business Report, annual competition. Honors such as these and now the silver seal just spur us on to become even better."
Twenty-nine counties applied for the Award. There was one Gold award, five Silvers in the Larimer County population category, eight silvers in other population categories, seven Bronze awards, and five Honorable mentions. Larimer was the only Colorado county to receive an award. The National Academy of Public Administration is an independent, nonprofit organization chartered by Congress to improve the performance of government organizations at every level. NACo represents more than 2,000 county governments in lobbying, policy development and research, and technical assistance.