Online catalog will hold all federal forms

Online catalog will hold all federal forms

A key component of the Business Gateway project, the eForms Catalog, will compile all public federal forms into an online collection, according to officials working on the project.

The General Services Administration, which is working with the Small Business Administration on the project, one of the 25 Quicksilver e-government initiatives, has awarded a $1.8 million, two-year contract to Sytel Inc. of Bethesda, Md., to develop the catalog.

GSA is working on the eForms Catalog, while the SBA, the lead on the project, develops the portal architecture.

The first step will be to list every government form for businesses and citizens—about 7,100 in all—and consolidate them, said Keith Thurston, the assistant deputy associate administrator in GSA’s Office of E-Government and Technology.

“Hopefully, we’ll never have to deal with 7,100 forms,” Thurston said. “Over time, we hope to reduce the number.”

The development work will have three phases:

  • In Phase 1, Sytel will develop the basic portal and catalog over the next four to six months, and agencies will populate it with forms.

  • Next, developers will build an engine for users to file forms electronically.

  • In the third phase, project officials will add other services to the portal.


  • The catalog will have a wizard interface that helps users determine which forms to file. The wizard will prompt users to answer a series of questions and then show them the appropriate forms. The technology is similar to that of the Benefits.gov Web site, another Quicksilver project, which determines government programs for which a user is eligible by asking questions, Thurston said.

    Users also will be able to search for forms grouped by category or by agency.

    Project officials said they hope the catalog will help agencies meet the requirements of the Government Paperwork Elimination Act.

    Most agencies failed to meet this month’s deadline for GPEA compliance, but Thurston said the eForms Catalog will give them a “technology boost. One of the reasons why this was developed was because it helps agencies comply with GPEA,” he said.

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