FirstGov for citizens coming soon

Performance Information for Major IT Investments

The administration will release this month the new, improved FirstGov Web portal and the first performance measures for the 24 cross-agency e-government initiatives, Mark Forman said Feb. 5.

The new FirstGov will be the first true citizen-focused version of the portal, said Forman, the Office of Management and Budget's associate director for information technology and e-government, at a briefing.

The driving force behind the site update is the idea of "three clicks to service," Forman said. Users will start by clicking on their segment — for individuals, for businesses or for governments — to bring them to an array of services offered in that area. Their next click will bring them directly to the page within the agency site providing that service. And the final click will be to access the service itself.

FirstGov will be the Web face of the new Office of Citizen Services (OCS), which is being formed within the General Services Administration by the administration's fiscal 2003 budget.

Citizens also will be able to access all government services by phone, e-mail and fax through GSA's National Contact Center, which will also be a part of the OCS.

The White House is creating this new office to become the single federal point of contact for citizens based on the experience of state and international governments, many of which have found great success by providing a single policy and operations office for this function, Forman said.

At the event this month to unveil the new FirstGov, OMB also will release the e-government strategy report on the 24 initiatives led by interagency teams, Forman said.

Each initiative team had to turn in a complete business case, including investment plans, management plans and performance measurements. OMB is not yet ready to release the full business cases, Forman said. But the strategy report will include the same type of information on strategic goals and performance measures as OMB made available on all major IT investments in a supplement to the fiscal 2003 budget, Forman said.

As each initiative is measured against those goals, OMB is developing incentives for the interagency teams. "It takes a mixture of some carrot and some stick," Forman said. This includes offering the two top-performing initiatives the bonus of a portion of the $45 million requested for fiscal 2003 for the e-government fund, he said.


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