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PR- 419-09
September 25, 2009


Center for Digital Government Recognizes 311Online, which Provides Information on Nearly 4,000 City Services Through Easy-to-use Web Portal

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert C. Lieber and Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) Commissioner Paul J. Cosgrave announced today that the Center for Digital Government presented New York City with a ‘Project Best Advancing Service to the Public’ award for 311Online. 311Online, available at, is a web-based portal, offering customers multiple ways to find nearly 4,000 City services. Customers can search by keyword, locate information about specific programs and initiatives, and create and check the status of complaints directly online. The Center for Digital Government’s Best of New York Awards program recognizes excellence among IT professionals and projects, local governments and educational institutions in New York State.

“From its start, the mission of 311 has been simple: to help New Yorkers access City government – and so far it has done so some 87 million times,” said Mayor Bloomberg.  “The key to its success is to continue innovating the way we serve our customers, and 311Online represents a stride in transparency for a system that has made accessibility commonplace.  New Yorkers have rightly come to expect efficient, straightforward service when calling the City, and the same should – and now can – be expected by logging on.  We’re honored to have 311Online recognized as the best of its kind in New York State.”

“We’re always striving to improve 311 by keeping it responsive to the needs and preferences of our customers,” said DoITT Commissioner Cosgrave.  With 311Online, has become a one-stop, customer-focused destination for New Yorkers to find multitude of available services – without requiring an expert’s skill at navigating dozens of agency websites and four hundred thousand pages of content.  Simply type in what you’re looking for and in many cases you be brought to the exact spot on, or elsewhere on the web, where you can find the answer.  311 is now at your service like never before.”

The 311Online portal seamlessly provides online services from City, state, and federal agencies, offering customers multiple ways to find what they are looking for.  Users can browse the full range of City services and drill down to topics within each of these categories.  They can look for available services by specific demographic or service type, access quick links to featured services, or filter their searches by using basic keywords.  Easy “keyword” searches and more advanced search options allow customers to navigate directly to the point of service in as few clicks as possible.

Information on 311Online is presented according to Federal “plain language” guidelines to communicate effectively with the broadest possible audience, including limited-English speakers.  For each service users are provided with a description of the service and linked to online capabilities where they exist, including the ability – complete with step-by-step instructions – to create service requests directly online.  The portal also provides accessibility features such as printer-friendly pages and text sizing options, announcements displaying dynamic information such as alternate-side parking status, and links to resources such as a search tips and a feedback form.

A number of pre-existing web applications are included in 311Online, providing New Yorkers the ability to create new and lookup previously-lodged service requests; attach picture, video and audio files with their complaints to 311 or; and access the Health and Human Services Provider Directory.  This comprehensive online directory helps New Yorkers connect with community based organizations providing human services across the City – everything from quit smoking clinics, food stamp centers, public hospitals, and Greenmarkets, to career centers, after school programs, libraries, jail release services and much more.

Announced by Mayor Bloomberg in 2002 and launched in March 2003, 311 is New York City’s phone number for all non-emergency government information and services. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and offers translation services in nearly 180 languages.  In addition to 311Online, 311 can also be accessed from anywhere in the world by dialing (212) NEW-YORK and via Skype. Users can also follow ‘311NYC’ on Twitter as well.  The call center now regularly services 50,000 calls per day and has received more than 87 million calls since inception.

The Center for Digital Government, a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government, presented the 2009 Best of New York Awards at the New York Digital Government Summit in Albany. The full list of awardees can be found at


Stu Loeser/Andrew Brent   (212) 788-2958

Nick Sbordone (DoITT)   (212) 788-6602

Janet Grenslitt (Center for Digital Government)   (916) 932-1363

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