GSA: Combine expertise for e-gov
- By Diane Frank
- Sep 08, 2000
To take advantage of the World Wide Web while facing limited resources and
expertise, the General Services Administration is calling on agencies to
form partnerships that rely on the experience of others.
With few in-house experts, and even less money, agencies need to take advantage
of larger projects already under way and consolidate resources to provide
services via Web portals, said Marty Wagner, associate administrator of
GSA's Office of Governmentwide Policy.
"Try to tie into something larger than yourself," he said at the Interagency
Resources Management Conference in Williamsburg, Va.
A good example of a portal is the FedBizOpps site, which combines procurement
opportunities for more than 15 civilian and defense agencies in a single
place while allowing the agencies to maintain their back-end procurement
systems. "It tries to bring everything together so it looks like one, even
though it is many," Wagner said.
Even single-agency portals can be a good way to combine the offerings of
different offices for citizens or employees, he said.
GSA also is collecting information from agencies for a database of best
practices in electronic government.
As agencies work to move their services to the Web, they are encountering
economic, technical and policy issues that range from determining the cost
and savings of putting a service on the Internet to getting bipartisan support
from Congress for a controversial program, said Joan Steyaert, deputy associate
administrator of GSA's Office of Information Technology Policy.
Several federal agencies, and even more state, local and international agencies,
have already found ways to tackle these issues and get their services up
and running. So GSA wants to gather best practices from all of those sources — not just federal agencies — as a resource for other agencies, Steyaert
Perhaps most importantly, seeing what others have done will enable agencies
to "anticipate some of the problems so you can move ahead without repeating
mistakes," she said.