OMB's site eases hunt for fed stats

In an effort to use technology to make the federal government more accessible to citizens the Office of Management and Budget last week unveiled one of the most comprehensive federal World Wide Web pages designed to date.

Point your browser to www.fedstats.gov to access FedStats named by the Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy as a masterpiece Web site that provides a well-organized easy-to-use gateway to a wealth of statistics from more than 70 federal agencies.

The site offers a mountain of useful information such as economic and population trends health care costs aviation safety foreign trade energy use farm production and more much of which has been locked away in paper form or in obscure electronic forms before now.

For a quick survey of the site's features click on the "site map" for a snapshot of all the search options FedStats offers. For specific search terms click on "search" and enter key words or phrases to launch a search of all the agencies represented by FedStats. The search engine offers links to the documents or files it finds.

For less specific searches click on the "agencies" icon and select from a long list of federal agencies that collect statistics. This section is intelligently arranged after a user chooses a federal bureau the screen splits and one frame displays the home page of the agency while another presents a list of the type of statistics available via the Web page. The split screen saves the user from spending valuable time combing an entire Web site to find statistics.

Click on the "regional statistics" icon for geographic breakdowns of statistics. Many times this information is available in localized formats. Click on the "programs" icon to access summaries of 14 topic areas including agriculture health labor income and others and then select "A to Z" to access almost 200 specific topics ranging from "acute conditions" to "weekly earnings."

In addition the site also provides agency contacts for various subject matter current federal statistical policy development and agency press releases.

Transportation Makeover

The Transportation Department has given its Web site (www.dot.gov) a facelift so that it is easier to use. Instead of grouping the various divisions of the department under broad categories such as "administration " direct links to the Federal Aviation Administration Federal Highway Administration and Federal Railroad Administration are each separately presented. For those interested in gaining information about or interacting with DOT the new design steers users to their topic of interest more quickly normally in just two clicks according to DOT officials.

Spinning a Procurement Web

Another government agency that has harnessed the power of the Web is the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Point your browser to www.treas.gov/treasury/bureaus/bep/proc for procurement opportunities at the bureau and governmentwide.

Click on the "procurement opportunities" icon to access information about the Treasury Department's information technology contracts as well as equipment and services contracts.

This page includes competitive solicitations contract awards and market surveys. The page also offers links to federal acquisition information at other agencies by clicking on "federal government acquisition information."

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