Announcing the 2021 U.S. Digital Government Award Recipients


We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2021 Digital Government Awards. Over the past 12 years, this awards program has given us a chance to celebrate our country’s public servants and lift up the leaders who make a meaningful difference in their communities every day. Despite the unprecedented circumstances presented by the pandemic, these civic heroes have found innovative ways to drive awareness for community programs, improve outdated processes, and inspire civic action.

We received an overwhelming response from this year’s nominees with detailed applications that highlighted the myriad ways technology can be used to modernize and improve communities, especially during a time of crisis. Winners were selected by an internal Granicus advisory board, and were evaluated based on both ingenuity and impact.

The 2021 Digital Government Award recipients are:

Tech Trailblazer Award: Hollywood, FL — As a result of its Virtual Inspection Program, Hollywood completed more inspections in less time, moving from 5,226 inspections in 2019 to more than 6,800 in December 2020. This award is presented in honorable memory of Dean Decker, Chief Building Official, Hollywood, FL.

Innovator of the Year: Kevin Goodwin, Chief Technology Officer, San Antonio, TX — The strategic use of low-code technology allowed Goodwin’s team to create a user-centric COVID response and recovery portal that increased the city’s website accessibility score from the mid-60s to 94.

Website of the Year: Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ)  — In partnership with the Granicus Experience Group (GXG), VDEQ defined a best-in-breed content governance strategy that allows residents of the Commonwealth to access accurate and up-to-date information that can evolve over time.

Website of the Year: City of Raleigh, NC & Aten Design Group — The City of Raleigh redesigned just in time to deliver crucial and timely information throughout the pandemic. 75% of residents ranked the website their top source for city information.

Short-Term Rental Compliance AwardCity of Nashville & Davidson County —Nashvilleachieved exceptionally high tax compliance rates due to a strong compliance letter and aggressive letter-sending through the Granicus Host Compliance software.

Digital Efficiency Award: Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) — SVCE streamlined mandatory customer communications using Granicus govDelivery software to save at least $50,000 annually in traditional mailing costs, increase efficacy, and reduce environmental impact. Since August 2020, SVCE has sent over 940,000 emails with an open rate of 33.7%.

Digital Efficiency Award: City of Sugar Land — Byreplacing time-consumer, manual census tracking with an automated process, Sugar Land’s census response rate was higher than ever. For cities with populations over 100,000, the City of Sugar Land ranked number one in Texas and eighth nationally.

Digital Government Experience Award: State of Hawaii Department of Transportation — With a no-cost, monthly email newsletter called Connecting the DOTs, the agency was able to share internal success stories that fostered connectivity and improved team spirit and morale.

COVID Response Award: Oakland County, MI — Oakland County responded to COVID-19 with a host of digital services and tools. In addition to organizing virtual press conferences and board meetings, it developed a dedicated COVID-19 website, redesigned the workforce development website to connect job seekers to employers, and created a digital vaccine hub with a ‘save your spot’ online form that’s had over 2 million page views since its launch.

Superior Civic Engagement Award: Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) — ADEQ developed a new section on the website called My Community solely dedicated to information about community environmental issues and actions from the ADEQ. This easy-to-use online tool includes a dashboard where residents can filter by county to view environmental data.

Communications Resilience Award: Los Alamos National Laboratory — With the launch of National Security Science—a podcast hosted by Brenda Fleming and Whitney Spivey—Los Alamos National Laboratory created an engaging medium that highlights features from the National Security Science magazine. Increasing in popularity, the podcast has led to thousands of online magazine downloads.

Most Impressive Subscriber Growth: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs — The launch of the My HealtheVet newsletter led to exceptional community engagement amid the pandemic. Led by Chip Harman, the newsletter team utilized Granicus govDelivery to send and receive 6.9 million secure messages and make 5.9 million prescription refill requests.

Digital Communications Innovator of the Year: Veterans Health Administration (VHA) — The VHA utilized Granicus govDelivery software to disseminate COVID-19 information, charts, and maps of cases throughout 2020. The one-page briefs provided cases by county, disparities alerts and recommended actions, and they allowed VA medical facilities to monitor rates by race/ethnicity in specific regions and periods of time.

Thank you so much to all of our nominees this year. The innovative work taking place across all levels of government continues to inspire us. We are excited to see what the next year holds.

To learn more about how Granicus can help your agency embrace technology to engage and serve residents this year, click here.

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