Award Information

  • Business Process Innovations
  • Cross-Boundary Collaboration & Partnerships
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Management, Analytics & Visualization
  • Digital Services: Government to Business
  • Digital Services: Government to Citizen
  • Emerging & Innovative Technologies
  • Enterprise IT Management Initiatives
  • Information Communications Technology Innovations
  • State CIO Office (or equivalent) Special Recognition
  • NASCIO state and territory members in good standing may submit a nomination. Corporate, academic and nonprofit members must work with a state CIO office to coordinate submissions
  • Nominations must be made by the state CIO office or other state agencies with the state CIO approval
  • Only one nomination per category per state is permitted
  • A project may only be submitted in one award category
  • Projects must be state-focused (not regional, local or national)
  • Multi-state projects are encouraged and must be submitted by the lead state (if the project is a finalist, all states included will be recognized)
  • All projects must have been fully implemented between December 2017 and December 2019 – projects submitted in the Emerging & Innovative Technologies award category can be in implementation or beta stage through June 2020
  • Outsourced projects will be considered as long as they are managed and controlled by the state
  • The project must be able to stand on its own – if the project is a phase of a larger initiative, only the benefits of the phase will be evaluated and recognized
  • Projects previously recognized as an award recipient are not eligible – all other previous submissions (finalists or non-finalists) may be resubmitted provided they meet the guidelines


  • Length of nomination not to exceed seven (7) pages total
  • Nomination should be easily readable in font choice/size and margin size
  • Nomination must be submitted in PDF via the Award Website (email submissions not accepted)


Page 1 Cover Page (title, category, state, contact, project initiation and end dates)

Page 2 Executive Summary

Pages 3-7 Project Narrative: Concept, Significance and Impact

Nominations may include URLs of public-facing project-specific sites. Judges may visit a site for clarification, but the project narrative will be the main basis of scoring. When writing the narrative, please assume judges will not visit the site. The inclusion of URLs is beneficial to other states when the nomination is included in the NASCIO Awards Library.

Do not include supplemental materials (brochures, news articles, marketing materials, CDs/DVDs), as these items will not be reviewed.

NASCIO will review all nominations for compliance with eligibility, requirements and alignment with selected award category. If the nomination does not meet the guidelines, the nominator will be notified and granted 48 hours to resolve the situation. Nominations that remain non-compliant will not be reviewed by judges.

Each element is scored on a 10 point scale. The exemplar, concept and significance scores are weighted at 20% of the overall score and the impact score at 40%.

Key Point: The project represents visionary and transformational use of information technology in state government.

  • Information technology is no longer the foundation on which government services sit, but an integral part of how government functions. Nominations should demonstrate how the project serves as a model of this integral role.
  • While supporting the public policy goals of state leaders, nominated projects should transform critical business problems, improve business processes or promote a customer-centric way for citizens to interact with their government.
  • Nominations should showcase how the project takes a foundation of best practices to the next level, exemplify leading and innovative practices or applying common practices in a transformational way.

Key Point: The project successfully addresses a need in state government.

  • Nominations should clearly explain the business problem the project is solving or the opportunity on which the project is capitalizing. It should be clear to the review how the project moved from idea, to design, to implementation.
  • Provide background on how the problem/opportunity came to be, context for the environment in which you were working and why the project is the best solution.

Describe the solution architecture of the project:

  • Is the initiative part of a larger project?
  • What project management approach was taken?
  • What are the costs (people, time, dollars)?
  • How will the initiative be assessed?
  • What efforts are made to ensure accessibility and
    information security?
  • To what extent is the state responsible for oversight of
    the initiative and outcomes of the initiative?
  • Briefly outline an associated communications plan to
    educate users and/or promote awareness and adoption.

Key Point: The project is consequential, relevant and transformational for state government and/or constituents.

  • Define the scope of the initiative and beneficiaries/stakeholder groups.
  • Highlight what makes the initiative innovative and distinct from similar projects.
  • Outline what successful implementation looks like and why that is important. What change will the initiative have on the nominating agency, the state, constituents?
  • Describe how the initiative fits into the larger picture: policy, strategy and goal alignment with gubernatorial priorities; IT strategic plans; enterprise architecture; agency business plans, goals and strategies; state and federal mandates; and/or NASCIO’s State CIO Top Ten Priorities.

Key Point: The project leads to substantial and measurable change; it makes state government better.

  • Compare the environment before the initiative was implemented and after it was completed. How is state government better?
  • Detail the immediate and longer term impact of the initiative. Address the financial and non-financial reasons why this project was worthy of the investment made.
  • Describe the benefits and the impact of the benefits for both the nominating agency and constituents, such as services to constituents, operational improvements, security and/or privacy, transparency of government, and transformation of government.
  • Note quantitative metrics (cost savings/avoidance, ROI, usage, transaction times, etc.) and qualitative benefits (citizen, business or employee experience, etc.).


  • Nominations are scored by a volunteer panel of NASCIO state and corporate members. Judges do not score projects from their own state or in which their company played a role. NASCIO makes every effort to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
  • In each award category, the three (3) highest rated nominations will be named as finalists; the highest rated will be named the recipient.
  • A state can be recognized as an award recipient in no more than two categories a year. If a state has recipient-level scores in more than 2 categories, the two highest scored nominations will be selected as the recipient in the respective categories.
    Multi-state initiatives and the State CIO Office Special Recognition category are exceptions.

Helpful Resources

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Deadline Extended: Nominations due Wednesday, July 15, 2020 @ 11:59 pm PT