Treasury programs boost e-gov

The Treasury Department unveiled two programs Tuesday to help customers

use the Internet to pay for items ranging from licenses needed by campers

at national parks to securities purchased by state and local governments.

The first new service — Pay.gov will be launched at the end of October.

It will enable consumers and corporations to use the Internet to authorize

electronic transfer of funds to pay government fees, fines, sales, leases,

donations and certain taxes using credit cards or other electronic payment

systems. It is expected to process 80 million transactions totaling $125

billion each year.

The second service — SLGSafe, being tested as a pilot project — will give

state and local governments the ability to invest in Treasury securities

using digital signatures and conduct their transactions entirely online.

It will serve about 400 banks and their state and local government customers

that have $160 billion invested in special securities.

Gary Grippo, director of e-commerce at Treasury's Federal Management Service,

said the new services would have an "enormous effect" on commerce and the

U.S. payment system.

FMS, which administers the world's largest collections system — including

taxes and disbursements of Social Security benefits — is testing new payment

and collection technologies using the Internet and smart card technology.

"The payment system is not static. It is not frozen in time," Grippo said.

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