AT&T snares new search engine contract for FirstGov

AT&T snares new search engine contract for FirstGov

Don’t like the results you get on the FirstGov.gov search engine? Well, wait until April 1.

The General Services Administration today awarded AT&T Government Markets of Washington a contract to replace FirstGov’s search engine. AT&T will use search technology from Fast Search and Transfer Inc. of Foster City, Calif., to replace the Inktomi Inc. engine that has powered FirstGov since it first went online in September 2000. That engine will remain in place until the end of the month.

A GSA press release said the contract, worth $2 million a year, is for one year with four one-year options. A spokeswoman said officials from GSA, the Defense and Commerce departments, and independent consultants evaluated the proposals.

GSA said use of Fast Search and Transfer’s engine will expand the number of sites FirstGov will be able to search beyond the 51 million federal and state sites currently indexed and will let users search Portable Document Format documents and databases.

When the new search engine is brought online, FirstGov will be a different portal from the one the government originally launched. Last month, it underwent a redesign that added links to online government transactions. Vice President Dick Cheney attended the unveiling of the site’s new look.

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