The Google connection

Mark Forman, former administrator for e-government and information technology at the Office of Management and Budget, was not surprised by how many people found online government services through commercial search engines rather than through the FirstGov Web portal.

"We always knew this was going to occur, and we didn't know how," said Forman, who launched the federal e-government initiatives during his three-year tenure at OMB.

Forman said officials designed FirstGov so that three clicks of a mouse would get users where they wanted to go without "searching around 300 different Web sites."

The idea, he said, was to amass services, data or transactions available across agencies into a single Web service.

What the e-government survey shows, he said, is that people will use a commercial search engine such as Google to identify what services are available in government.

"You don't need a portal for government agencies to help find stuff," Forman said. "You need

the portal to streamline the redundancies, to provide the tools that make sense out of all these

redundant, convoluted, hard-to-understand

programs."

Forman said the survey results show that the government must provide services online even though those services may only be used by a small percentage of the population.

"Part of the game is letting people know," he said. "But part of the game is whether government is supplying the services. It's a service-oriented approach to the Internet."

Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • 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.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.