Treasury CIO promotes expanded fed portal

The federal CIO Council is expected to recommend that the Bush administration develop a governmentwide interactive Web portal.

Jim Flyzik, vice chairman of the council, said a transition report on how to develop e-government—and details on the proposed portal—has been ready for some time, but the council is holding it until the administration selects a deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget. That position has traditionally handled information technology issues across government.

Flyzik, who is also CIO at the Treasury Department, said a portal building on and expanding the 6-month-old FirstGov portal is an "example of what will begin to bring down traditional barriers in government."

A one-stop portal, for example, would make it possible for a citizen to file a change of address on the Internet just once instead of filling out 14 different forms for 14 different agencies. "Think how a portal could change this into a true one-stop shop," Flyzik said.

"Portals" was the buzzword last week in Austin, Texas, at the 15th annual Information Processing Interagency Conference sponsored by the Government Information Technology Executive Council, where Flyzik spoke.

"FirstGov was a wonderful first step, but it was only a first step," said Alan Balutis, outgoing director of the Advanced Technology Program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

John Gilligan, the deputy chief information officer for the Air Force, said a new portal would be launched for the service by this summer. And Treasury is in the process of developing its own portal to link its 14 agencies and provide a one-stop shop for the public.

Portals are a way to create "seamless electronic services" in government, Flyzik told conference attendees.

"I believe a lot of things are doable," Flyzik said. He said it is important to "break government down to its smallest components and think across government."

Flyzik broached other ideas at the conference. They include:

Expanding the $10 million fund that President Bush has proposed for cross-agency information technology efforts this year by seeking contributions from agencies and industry. Creating a CXO Council at the Treasury Department that would bring together CIOs and chief financial officers, human resource directors and procurement officials at Treasury's 14 agencies. The transition recommendations from the CIO Council also are expected to call for continuing international contacts and coordinating activities with other councils, including the CFO Council.

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