Board OKs new Internet tribal portal

By the CUJ

MISSION – Tribal leaders have taken the first official steps toward development of a new Internet portal that will allow members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) to interact online with their government.

With transparency as an overriding goal, the Board of Trustees (BOT) on June 22 approved a resolution calling for modernization of the current digital system, which is so outdated it won’t receive security updates as of November of 2020.

The plan includes the development of an eGovernment portal for the public, a Tribal member-only portal, and a platform that stores vital statistics. The portals would serve Tribal members, reservation residents, employees, and others who need to understand and participate in government.

Some COVID-19 funds have been identified, but not enough for all the up-front or estimated ongoing costs of about $462,000 a year. Among other things, the project will require hiring a web content coordinator, a server system administrator, and a web developer.

As envisioned, an eGovernment portal would provide access to BOT documents such as resolutions, codes, policies, calendars, meeting minutes and agendas, etc. Tribal members would also be able to access a secure portal system with a login for personal information such as birth certificates, income verification, eligibility, credit, benefits, utility payments, etc.

A Web Governance Policy and an Information Access Policy need to be developed to identify and govern information that will be shared through CTUIR websites and the Tribal portal.

The resolution authorized funding for implementation and ongoing costs.

A timeline has not been established for the project because of the uncertainty of budget allocations at this time.