GSA refreshes FirstGov portal


FirstGov, the government's Web portal for citizens, has been redesigned and "refreshed" in an attempt to make it easier to use.

The General Services Administration unveiled a new version of the portal on May 6.

FirstGov is a "dynamic, ever improving Web site," said M. J. Jameson, associate administrator for the Office of Citizen Services and Communications (OCSC), FirstGov's home within GSA.

The system gives users access to more than 180 million pages of government information, including state and local agencies. First launched in 2000, the site was relaunched in 2002. This week's refresh was the third major upgrade to the portal.

Based on comments from users, GSA made several improvements to the site. Information for businesses, federal employees and other government is sorted by category, and a single click will take a user into the section of interest.

Use of the site has grown by 444 percent since 2001, Jameson said. In that year, 7 million people visited the site, compared to 37 million in 2002. GSA predicts 70 million users will log on this year.

To support the front-end facelift, GSA is overhauling some of the site's inner workings. The agency is rolling out a content management system that will let authorized users add or modify content on the site. Currently, only coders skilled in Web development can change the content.

The content management system will allow FirstGov to be updated more quickly, said Casey Coleman, the OCSC's chief technology officer.


  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

  • Comment
    Pilot Class. The author and Barbie Flowers are first row third and second from right, respectively.

    How VA is disrupting tech delivery

    A former Digital Service specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs explains efforts to transition government from a legacy "project" approach to a more user-centered "product" method.

  • Cloud
    cloud migration

    DHS cloud push comes with complications

    A pressing data center closure schedule and an ensuing scramble to move applications means that some Homeland Security components might need more than one hop to get to the cloud.

Stay Connected


Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.