Written by Colin Wood
Maryland One Stop, the state’s four-year-old citizen services portal, isn’t yet fully mature, but it has seen “dramatic progress,” the state’s chief information officer said this week. Michael Leahy at StateScoop.
The platform, which Leahy launched in 2018 to process business licenses, has since grown to include 19 state agencies, more than 500 government forms and more than 1 million user accounts, according to a monthly statistical report. But Leahy said the portal’s biggest benefits so far have come in the form of streamlining some of the state government’s most essential jobs.
Leahy said shortly after the pandemic shutdowns began in 2020, several agencies that ran programs for small businesses and people who couldn’t work approached the Department of Information Technology for help. to process requests faster. He said they could use Maryland’s OneStop platform to get things done faster and cheaper.
“They wanted to take an off-the-shelf product and manipulate it to meet their needs,” Leahy said. It was going to cost seven figures and three to four months to set up. From when we started talking to them to when we built the OneStop app and it took about eight hours to run. They were processing about 100 requests a day at that time. We processed 17,000 that night.
The state has also relied on the platform for its contact tracing and vaccine management efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Leahy said having this capability at our fingertips reduced what would have been months-long projects to just weeks.
“We were able to do it ourselves,” he said.
Leahy shares with many other state CIOs an aspiration to create a platform that serves as a single place for residents to manage all of their government transactions – from tax filing status to vehicle registration. He predicted it will take another two years before Maryland OneStop is used by all state agencies, but the most complex part will be identity management.
“The linchpin of all of this is an identity model where every citizen will have an individualized identity and account and rather than using the idea of centralized controls for identity and [personally identifiable information] and personalized data,” Leahy said. “We are looking to build a decentralized system where your data will reside on a device that you control.”
Decentralized data storage for an app like this is a departure from the industry norm, but Leahy, who is also a lawyer, said he thinks current trends in data privacy law data indicate that the paradigm will soon change.
“My vision is that if you want to hack or attack anything in Maryland, you’re going to have to attack 6 million separate accounts,” he said.
Although the desire for a centralized platform is widely shared by state IT officials, Leahy said the appeal of such technology isn’t always obvious to other department heads he has. must convince to start using it, if it is a truly complete platform.
“The ID is a little more complex and I suspect if people are as passionate as I am, it will happen in the next 3-5 years and it won’t be the state of Maryland running this,” said he declared. . “It will be people in the private market who will build this.”