FirstGov to make forms, services handier
- By Colleen O'Hara, William Matthews
- Dec 12, 2000
It soon will be easier for people to find government forms on the Internet — whether they seek a passport, presidential-management internship application
or a patent.
The General Services Administration is preparing to launch a new online
service on the governmentwide Internet portal FirstGov that will link citizens
to the top 500 government services and their associated forms.
Dubbed "FedForms," the service is an initiative of the National Partnership
for Reinventing Government but was implemented by GSA. It will make its
debut on FirstGov in about a week, said Mary Mitchell, deputy associate
administrator for electronic government at GSA.
The FedForms feature will connect users to the most requested services
and the related forms that agencies already have posted online. Users will
be able to download some forms and fill out others online, depending on
what the agency has made available, Mitchell said.
A year ago, President Clinton instructed federal agencies to put online
by December 2000 the forms needed for receiving the 500 most-used government
services. The agencies have responded in triplicate — and then some.
The Internet is awash in electronic federal forms. The Internal Revenue
Service alone has 706 forms online. The Federal Communications Commission
has about 120. The Office of Personnel Management has 100 or more, and the
Social Security Administration has at least 75.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has forms regarding home loans, health
care and more; the Treasury has forms for air cargo manifests to aircraft
user-fee decal requests; the Transportation Department has forms for bidding
on highway contracts.
Apply for a job or report a traumatic injury with forms posted by the
Labor Department; ask for a loan using finance forms from the Export-Import
Bank; or apply for a trademark using an electronic application system.