GovAI: AI Assistant for πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Government Staff

We believe that AI will have a more transformative impact on government staff and leaders than any tech innovation of the last twenty years - but it needs to be made safe and adapted to your governmental context. Our unique GovAI Assistant wraps the underlying AI/LLM with a compliance and safety layer, and provides deep gov contextual knowledge to help you best.

πŸ” Safe - No Data Access Required & No Retention
πŸ›οΈ Knowledgeable - Knows Your Gov Context
🦾 Advanced - Based on GPT-4o with No Limits

Seeing is believing:

Knowledge Inquiry
Ask technical questions in your functional area, research adjacent topics, explore policy questions, and ask gov career questions too.
Produce emails, outlines, proposals, interview questions, and more - all informed by your specific regional, organizational, and role contexts.
Task Automation
Proof-read and edit text, summarize articles, translate language, create alternative versions, etc. Quickly understand and easily add polish.
Predict the outcome of actions, generate fresh ideas, get analysis, ask a devil's-advocate, and interactively explore any topic.

What is an 'AI Assistant' and what can I use it for?

An AI assistant, or Artificial Intelligence assistant, is like a virtual helper designed to make life easier by providing information through conversation and automating tasks. Imagine having a smart friend you can talk to on your computer or phone, who can answer your questions, help you find information online, and help streamline or automate many work-related tasks.

AI assistants are usually interacted with via a chat window which is why they are also sometimes called 'AI chat bots'. The user simply types in a question or request, and the AI assistant responds with an answer or action. GovAI also has an 'email interface', which allows you to simply send an email to and it will reply back to you.

Typically AI assistants like GovAI are used for:
  1. knowledge inquiry (learning something specific)
  2. creative/generative tasks (writing, creating, or producing something)
  3. task automation (editing, summarizing, translating, etc.)
  4. what-if/brainstorming (exploring ideas, predicting outcomes, etc)

In a government context, the most common use of AI assistants is to learn or explore specific topics -- often outside of the user's day-to-day functional area -- although GovAI is used across all the above categories.

Is government adoption of AI already underway?

Yes. While there are various forms of AI-in-government gaining ground (AI assistants being just one example), the data indicates a significant surge of usage happening across public sector organizations, especially among front-line staff and managers. GovAI's usage at municipalities, for example, is doubling every 20 days - an astronomical growth rate for 'govtech' software.

Based on this data, we believe that 'the horse has left the barn' on this powerful new technology and it's time for government to have a better option like GovAI vs the commercial / industry-first solutions being used in the wild. Both ideological extremes -- blind optimism and outright denial -- obscure the reality of this technology's powerful impact already.

Why was GovAI created?

GovAI was created so that government would have a better option for AI assistants than the industry-first solutions largely on offer, as well as the very expensive, very complicated and invasive platforms being pushed by major tech companies (ChatGPT, Copilot, etc). Public Sector is so unique in its context and constraints that off-the-shelf AI systems range from inappropriate to downright dangerous.

We founded Civia to help government staff unlock their collective wisdom, boost their noble spirit, and forge a better future for their communities - and we discovered that AI assistants can be a powerful tool in helping individual staff members and leaders do just that.

We built GovAI in constant dialogue with government staff, and we continue to evolve it based on your feedback and needs. We believe that AI can be a force for good in government, and we're committed to making that a reality.

Who is the team behind GovAI (and Civia)?

We're the founding team of Civia, a group of technologists and builders who are passionate about the potential of AI to help government staff. We've worked in and with government for decades, and we've seen first-hand how the right technology can help public sector staff rise to their challenges.

Previously, we founded Bonfire, a successful 'govtech' procurement platform that handled terabytes of highly confidential buyer/supplier data, $100B+ of procurement projects, and was used by thousands of government users. Through the 10+ years of building that platform and company we saw first-hand how knowledgeable, hard-working and virtuous government staff are.

But we also saw how silo'd and fragmented best-practices and specialized knowledge was across public sector. We'd see that one group had a problem 'solved' while another group on the other side of the country was just beginning to tackle the same issue.

We were inspired to create a platform that would allow government staff to connect, share, and learn from each other. The advent of AI added powerful possibilities to how knowledge is categorized and shared. We're excited to be on this journey with you, and we're committed to making GovAI and Civia the best possible platform for government staff.

What is the "🚫3 Zeros" concept for AI safety?

We pioneered and developed a safety framework for AI assistants -- and AI/LLMs more generally -- with privacy advocates, public sector CTOs and CIOs, and AI researchers. Our goal with the 3 Zeros framework is to provide a simple guide for users to understand and trust AI systems.

The "3 Zeros" concept is a multi-layer approach to improving the safety and trustworthiness of AI systems:
  1. 🚫 Zero Ingestion - the AI system should proactively prevent users from loading in PII or other sensitive data via prompts, files, or through file imports (including to RAGs e.g. as part of a MSFT Copilot 365 installation).

    GovAI prevents PII ingestion via our Data Shield feature, where user prompts and files are pre-scanned and blocked or sanitized if they contain sensitive data.

  2. 🚫 Zero Retention - there should be a formal, contractual Zero Data Retention agreements in place between any system provider whose system incorporates AI and is used by your government employees. This prevents the system provider from utilizing your data for training, commercialization, or any other use.

    GovAI has Zero Data Retention agreements with our underlying AI/LLM providers, including OpenAI, and we explicitly state that your data won't be used for training or any other purpose.

  3. 🚫 Zero Ignorance - there are two elements of this principle, which are two sides of the same coin:

    For users: an AI system should provide in situ feedback and guidance to users about how to safely and effectively use AI systems. This 'trains' them for not only the system in question but also improves their fluency with AI systems more generally.

    For the AI/LLM itself: as much governmental contextual data should be brought to bear, so that the AI better can perform the task in your unique context vs. the best-effort responses based on being trained on the public Internet. This reduces errors and hallucinations and makes the AI far more likely to perform the task well.

    GovAI includes both of these aspects - it guides users, warning them of PII and suggesting prompts and use-cases; and it has access to governmental contextual data to improve its responses.

Why is GovAI limited to government staff & leaders?

In order for GovAI to be the best possible platform for government staff, we need to focus on the unique context and constraints of public sector work. By limiting access to government staff, we can ensure that GovAI is optimized for the specific needs of government users.

This is why we require users to register with their government work email - that way, we verify that users currently work at a qualifying public sector organization.

Is GovAI free? If so, how can that be?

Yes, GovAI is free for individuals in government - we call this the 'GovAI Individual' tier, and it's what you register for on this page.

Why is it free? We believe that in order for government to continue evolving, transformative technology and tools should be available for leaders and staff without expensive subscriptions or lengthy procurement cycles.

Isn't "free" usually bad with tech platforms? Yes in almost every case (including free ChatGPT and free Copilot), because 'free' platforms are generally funded by selling user data or by using the platform to sell other products/services. But GovAI is different - we're funded by our GovAI Enterprise tier, which is a paid tier for government agencies that want central user management, visibility/reporting, and fine-grained policy and data controls for their users.

What's the GovAI Enterprise tier? See next question for a summary and detailed comparison.

What is GovAI Enterprise?

GovAI Enterprise is our paid product tier for government agencies that wish to deploy GovAI across their organizations, and want central user management, visibility/reporting, and fine-grained policy and data controls for their users.

Here is a comparison between GovAI Individual and GovAI Enterprise:

GovAI Enterprise licensing is priced based on the number of users and the level of customization and support required (and is typically significantly less expensive than ChatGPT or Copilot). Contact us at to discuss Enterprise licensing.

Who can I contact for more details?

Reach out to us at with any questions, concerns, or feedback and we'll respond quickly. You can also register for an account and message us from inside the platform.

How can I safely try GovAI out?

The quickest way to try GovAI is to simply send a gov-related question to from your government work email. GovAI will respond to you with a helpful answer or action (note that the best experience is inside the platform, where GovAI can bring more of its contextual understanding to bear, so if you get a partial response try re-running it inside GovAI).

To get the full experience, just register here for a free account and you'll be able to use GovAI with no limits.

How GovAI Works

GovAI takes your unique context in government -- your organization type/size/sector, geographic region, functional role and seniority -- and uses that to optimize an underlying Large Language Model (LLM) trained on public data and with access to our proprietary set of government contextual data. No private data sources are required. See here for more details »

Security & Privacy

GovAI is safe and secure for government staff to use. Specifically, GovAI incorporates the '🚫3 Zeros' framework for AI safety (see FAQ).
  1. GovAI Data Shield can identify and sanitize PII in user prompts prior to ingestion into the AI/LLM - reducing the risk of inappropriate data going into the system
  2. User data is NOT retained for training or utilized beyond responding to the questions and operating the platform, and Civia has Zero Data Retention agreements with underlying AI/LLM providers;
  3. Our strict policies and procedures are documented in our Trust Center;
  4. GovAI doesn't require any access to a user's local system, files, or data;
  5. IT teams can 'claim' their organization through our GovAI Enterprise tier and implement custom policies for their users - contact us.

How it Works: Technical Overview

Register for free to get access to GovAI

Have a question or need help? Contact us at

Upcoming Webinars:

We offer regular non-promotional webinars on our research and data on GovAI usage trends and learnings for government and public sector audiences. See below for upcoming webinars.

πŸ—“οΈ Jul 11 / Jul 25 @ 2pm ET -- [Research] Has the GovAI Horse Already Left the Barn? »
Join us to see detailed data and statistics about how our GovAI Assistant is being used across 425 local governments, state/provincial agencies, and other public sector organizations in the US and Canada.

πŸ—“οΈ Jul 18 / Aug 1 @ 2pm ET -- [Demo] GovAI Enterprise Tour »
Curious about the extra visibility, control, and functionality that you could bring to your organization with GovAI Enterprise, the world's best and safest AI Assistant for gov staff/leaders? Join us for the overview.

πŸ—“οΈ Jul 30 @ 2pm ET -- [AI Safety] The '3 Zeros': Making AI safer for gov organizations »
Join us to learn more about the '3 Zeros' approach to securing AI/LLM systems, developed in partnership with public sector CTOs and CIOs due to the rising use of AI Assistants in government.

If you'd like a custom webinar for your organization or association, contact us at

Our Associations & Partners:

If your association members would benefit from learning about AI and real-world examples, contact us at to schedule a non-promotional webinar on GovAI trends for your next meeting.

Contact Us:

We'd love to hear from you - reach out via one of the following: Phone: (249) 444-2484

Mailing Address: Civia Inc. c/o Catalyst Commons,210-137 Glasgow St, Kitchener ON N2G 4X8 Canada