The State of Vermont operates a Business Portal through the Secretary of State’s office that allows a business customer to complete online applications (modules) for the Secretary of State’s Office, Department of Tax, and Department of Labor.
The Current Business Portal has provided many efficiencies for both the business owner and state staff. However, there are some deficiencies:
• A business owner is not required to utilize the current business portal and may go directly to each agency or department;
• Each of the applications are individually maintained by each department through separate contracts;
• The system does not allow for easy upgrades or changes to the modules. The vendor must be contacted by each department whenever a change (even as small as a word change) is required.;
• The technology is now over seven (7) years old (built in 2011) and is difficult to expand upon;
• The system does not have a data governance structure across the partner agencies; i.e. One field is named Phone Number (formatted as xxx-xxx-xxxx) on the Secretary of State’s application and the same field is named Phone # (formatted as (xxx) xxx-xxxx) on the Department of Tax’s application. This makes inter-agency information and data sharing difficult and time consuming;
• Data is not easily shareable amongst agencies and departments. Manual queries are needed, and files are sent to a secure site to be retrieved by the requesting agency. This can be a multi-week process that needs approval from the SOS, Tax, or DOL. Every agency should have access to the data they need, when they need it, in a standard format, with appropriate permissions.
• A business must register with the Secretary of State’s office first before being able to register with the Department of Labor and Tax;
• There are certain instances where an out of state business needs to pay tax to the State of Vermont, but not register with the State of Vermont as a business;
• The system does not integrate with the internal systems at the Department of Labor and Tax, or other state systems.
The Vermont Business Portal project team is looking for a scalable software solution that will:
- Provide a front-end User Interface to the customer that allows for application filing, running custom reports, viewing requirements, making payments, and more;
- Provide a back-end User Interface to the employees of the State that allows for data sharing across agencies, routing documents, signing documents, running custom reports, and more;
- Integrate with multiple internal State systems;
- Provide a single sign-on that integrates with internal systems;
- Allow the customer to create a configurable dashboard;
- Provide guided workflows and navigation for the customer through all applications;
- Implement a shopping cart feature so the customer can pay for all their transactions in one place, with one payment;
- Allow for the ability to share data and information among different agencies;
- Allow employees of the state to be proactive with their communications;
- Allow for customers to receive notifications when an action is required, when new regulations have passed, and any other information deemed appropriate by the State.