Treasury to build portal

The Treasury Department is planning to build a Web portal for the public and soon will launch an e-learning site for its workers.

The portal, being tested in a pilot project, would consolidate information that resides on Web sites set up by 14 Treasury agencies.

"It will happen because it will be something that makes sense. It's what our customers want," said Jim Flyzik, acting assistant secretary for management and Treasury's chief information officer. The portal is designed to make it easier to use Web sites that are now difficult to navigate, Flyzik told attendees at the Treasury 2001 IT Conference, sponsored by Treasury and the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.

Treasury's virtual learning site is prompted by the success of a similar, 5-year-old Internal Revenue Service site. The department will expand the program and offer it to every Treasury employee.

The site will offer hundreds of courses, including training on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 2000 and Web design, as well as technology-based consulting and hosting services.

Patricia McCormick, project leader for the IRS' School of Information Technology in Austin, Texas, said employees would be able to take any of the courses at their desks. Officials are still trying to work out how employees can take the courses when they are at another site. Treasury also hopes to expand the program to all of government, she said.

Online training courses designed to meet an agency's specific needs are gaining popularity among federal managers struggling to balance a skills and worker shortage with decreasing funds for training and travel.

More than 50,000 employees took courses via the IRS site in 2000.

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