The nomination window has opened for the Best of California Awards program, presented by Government Technology magazine* to recognize California state and local government and education organizations for their contributions in IT. All government and education officials, executives and staff in California are invited to submit nominations. An Evaluation Committee will review submissions in the following categories and select recipients. All projects nominated must be in production and fully operational by the submission deadline.

Submissions are due by Aug. 21. Winners will be awarded in a ceremony at the California Virtual Digital Government Summit on Sept. 29-30. More information and a link for nominations are available online

There are six categories for awards:

  • Best Application Serving an Agency’s Business Needs: Awarded to individuals and teams of an agency or department that have designed, developed and deployed new applications or improved existing applications that assist the department/agency in handling its day-to-day operations. 
  • Best Application Serving the Public: Awarded to individuals and teams that have designed, developed and deployed applications or improved existing applications that deliver services more effectively to the public or other external stakeholders. This application should effectively increase the transparency or accessibly of services. 
  • Best IT Collaboration: Recognizes special efforts to facilitate inter-organizational technology projects, governance initiatives, or data-share or data integration initiatives that led to greater cooperation among organizations, government agencies or business units or demonstrated cross-governmental efforts that have resulted in an integrated solution to public services. This outstanding project and collaborative effort provided improved and more accessible services for California residents. 
  • Most Innovative Use of Resident Engagement: Awarded based on new and emerging technologies deployed in an agency/department or on existing technology used in an innovative/collaborative/social networking manner, including initiatives to improve resident engagement.
  • Best Mobile/Wireless Project: Awarded to individuals and teams that have designed, developed and deployed an application that utilizes wireless technology for data transport. The application can use any type of mobile device for the receipt and transmission of information. Wireless networks within a building will not be considered for this award. 
  • Best Data Analytics Project: Awarded to individuals and teams that have designed and deployed tools/processes that have resulted in process improvement, strategic planning, and/or organizational change/change management for more efficient and effective deployment of government resources, better public policy decisions and a better-informed public. Data analytics projects should make use of existing data, preferably from multiple data sources or feeds leading to improved outcomes. Projects encompassing business analysis and/or data analytics may be submitted in this category. 

All nominations must be submitted by a recognized California public body and must now be in use and have quantifiable outcomes. Only one nomination per category per governmental entity is allowed, and the same project may not be submitted in more than one category. Previous Best of California Award-winning projects may not be resubmitted. No additional documentation will be reviewed.

The judging panel is composed of top government IT officials selected from state agencies, local government and higher education. The judges will consider a variety of aspects when evaluating entries, including Productivity/Performance, Innovation (Wow Factor), Functionality, Savings/Value Add and Usage Rate.

To begin the application process, you must first register (a confirmation email will automatically be sent to your email address with your login and password for future use). Upon registering, you will be asked for some basic information before continuing to the main questions. Choose your submission category and copy and paste the information from your prepared document into the appropriate answer boxes. Fill all the required information and be sure to click either “Save for Later” or “Submit Nomination.” You will receive an email confirmation of your submission. Retain the Word document for your records. 

You may edit your nomination at any time up to the closing date by logging in to Nominations page and clicking on your entry title under the “Nominations” tab. Be sure to hit “Save Nomination” before exiting.

*Government Technology magazine is a publication of e.Republic, which also produces Techwire.