Treasury testing public portal

The Treasury Department is planning to build a Web portal to offer the public one-click access to information.

The portal, being tested in a pilot project, would consolidate information that resides on Web sites set up by 14 different Treasury agencies, including ones as diverse as the U.S. Mint and the Customs Service.

"It will happen because it will be something that makes sense. It's what our customers want," Jim Flyzik, acting assistant secretary for management and Treasury's chief information officer, said Tuesday.

The portal is designed to make it easier to use Web sites that are currently difficult to navigate, Flyzik told attendees Tuesday at Treasury 2001 IT, a conference in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Treasury Department and the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.

"It is breadth first, not depth," he said.

Flyzik also said that Treasury is completing a pilot program that would make it easier for digital signatures to be accepted by other agencies and government entities. Known as the Federal Bridge Certification Authority, it would enable many agency public-key infrastructure applications to connect to a larger network.

"This is the beginning of a national infrastructure for PKI," Flyzik said, adding that once digital signatures become a routine form of trade, "the things we're going to be able to do will be phenomenal."

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