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County’s Web page aims to consolidate service offerings

Kitsap County government is reconfiguring its Web site to consolidate services and streamline the submission of forms needed to request and complete services.

“We want to put all the things we can do online in one place,” said county spokesperson Doug Bear. “The point is to make services available online, so people don’t need to drive all the way into Port Orchard to pick up a form.”

The new page, called “Kitsap 24/7,” will link from the standard www.kitsapgov.com site.

It was scheduled to go live Monday afternoon.

While the county hopes to expand its online offerings, the new page does not include any new services.

Instead, it offers a more convenient way for visitors to gain immediate access to the needed forms. For instance, they can apply for a license renewal, fill out a job application or apply for a permit.

Forms fall into different categories, depending on whether the Information Services Department has adapted the form for full online input.

Some forms can be filled in and submitted online, while others must be downloaded, printed out, filled in by hand and sent back.

And some forms still require a physical signature.

Bear said he had three goals for the new page:

• to examine all existing services and put them in an accessible place;

• to add the ability for all forms to be fillable and submittable online; and,

• to provide a feedback mechanism for the users.

“If someone doesn’t know how to do something, we want to give them a place to ask their questions,” he said. “And we want to give them a chance to tell us what services we should offer online.”

Bear acknowledged that many people don’t have access to a computer or would rather not use one to do government business. In these cases, procedures accomplished “the old-fashioned way” will still be available.

On the other hand, Kitsap County has a large computer-user demographic and most people can find a computer to use even if they don’t have one at home.

“If someone lives in Kingston and needs a form, they can just go to the library to print it out,” he said. “We can save them from making a 60-mile round trip.”

The advantage of this access goes beyond distance, as the 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. government timeframe doesn’t fit into everyone’s schedule.

“We want people to be able to get these forms and services when it is most convenient for them,” Bear said. “So if you want to renew your license tags at 11 at night, you will have that choice.”

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