FirstGov likely to go interactive

The CIO Council is expected to recommend expanding FirstGov to an interactive site across government, according to Jim Flyzik, the council's vice chairman.

Flyzik said the idea is one of several new proposals in the council's transition report to the Bush administration. The report has not yet been made public.

"It is an example of what will begin to bring down the traditional barriers in government," he told attendees at the Information Processing Interagency Conference on Wednesday.

Flyzik, who also is the Treasury Department's chief information officer, said the idea would help create "seamless electronic services" in government. For example, he said, a person would be able to notify the federal government of an address change just once instead of filling out forms for a dozen agencies.

"Government services will have a different model. The portal will tell us how a customer of government is interacting with government," he said.

Although the vision of a one-stop shop is down the road, government portal pilots already are on the drawing boards. Treasury is conducting several pilot projects for its own portal site, and the Air Force expects to have a portal in operation for the service by this summer, according to John Gilligan, deputy CIO at the Air Force.

Flyzik said government expects to issue 500,000 digital signature certificates this year to help make the authentication process for business conducted over the Internet easier.

He also said he'll propose a CXO Council at Treasury when he meets later this week with Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill. The council would include CIOs, chief financial officers, human resources directors and procurement officers at agencies within Treasury.

The CIO Council has decided not to release its transition report until the deputy OMB director for management has been named. The job has traditionally handled technology, but the Bush administration has not yet said who will be in charge of government IT issues.

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