Feds, states work on 'intelligent' portal sites

COLUMBUS, Ohio—The Clinton administration is looking to build an intergovernmental World Wide Web portal through which the public can access information about a wide variety of government services and available from federal and state government agencies.

The Office of the National Partnership for Reinventing Government has invited state agencies to participate in the development of the portal, which NPR envisions as a "seamless government portal that is somewhat intelligent," said P.K. Agarwal, chairman of the state-level National Electronic Commerce Coordinating Council.

Portals are Web sites that bring together a variety of information, services and links. Increasingly, organizations that build portals look to make them intelligent, meaning that the portals are tailored to the interests of particular individuals. For example, an intelligent government portal might recognize which particular services a user needs and automatically provide the user with the necessary links, said Agarwal, speaking here at the Intergovernmental Technology Conference.

The portal project is in its early planning stages, so few specifics are available, Agarwal said. But he said the project represents one of the first times that the federal government has sought the involvement of the states from the outset of an intergovernmental project. "I see that as a positive step," he said.

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