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

  • Management
    people standing on keyboard (Who is Danny/Shutterstock.com)

    OPM-GSA merger plan detailed in legislative proposal

    The White House is proposing legislation for a dramatic overhaul of human resources inside government and wants $50 million to execute the plan.

  • Cloud
    cloud applications (chanpipat/Shutterstock.com)

    GSA plans civilian DEOS counterpart

    GSA is developing a cloud email and enterprise services contract inspired by the single-source vehicle the Department of Defense devised for back-office software.

  • Defense
    software (whiteMocca/Shutterstock.com)

    DOD looks to unify software spending for 2020

    Defense Department acquisition head, Ellen Lord, hopes to simplify software buying and improve business systems following the release of the Defense Innovation Board's final software acquisition study.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.