JetForm builds online fed forms warehouse

Workflow and forms software vendor JetForm Corp. plans to create an electronic forms warehouse on the Internet that would give agencies and the public a single point of access to government forms online. JetForm's announcement coincides with the introduction of legislation last week by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) that would require federal agencies to create online versions of all their forms. As part of that initiative agencies would be required to put into place a way to protect the forms and associated payments using digital signature technology.

Numbering 10 000

By the end of this month JetForm should have around 10 000 government forms in electronic version available through its Internet site at www.jetform.com. JetForm plans to either provide a link to where an agency's electronic form is located or to place an agency form directly on the JetForm site. Users will be able to search for a form by its name or by keyword.

Through the warehouse JetForm wants to provide a service to its customers who have invested in the company's FormFlow and Filler software products.

"This will be a low-cost way to access tens of thousands of federal forms that exist " said Lynne Boyd senior vice president for government operations at JetForm. "About half of the agencies have their own internal Web sites and have allowed us to link to them the other half gave us forms that we will put into the warehouse."

So far no agency has declined to have their forms included in the warehouse Boyd said. Forms from the Army the Air Force the Navy the General Services Administration NASA and the Transportation Commerce and Agriculture departments are some of the first to go into the warehouse but more will be added she said.

Fully Intelligent Forms

Forms will include those used internally by agencies such as expense forms and those used by the public such as veterans' health benefit forms. The forms will contain the full intelligence such as database links that would have been programmed into them by the agency or third party that developed them.

Forms stored in the warehouse will be downloadable or can be filled out online and sent to an agency electronically if the agency's systems support that feature. Boyd said however that many agencies do not use electronic signature technology which would allow them to protect information sent over the Internet.FedWorld which is operated by the National Technical Information Service provides links to other agency World Wide Web sites such as that of the Internal Revenue Service which puts its tax forms online.

An NTIS spokeswoman said the agency could help other agencies put their forms online as well. She added that the JetForm concept is a good one but stressed that value-added services will be essential if it is to work. "A form is good but the form is not the issue it's the process " the spokeswoman said.

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