Federal Web Portal Gets Reader Feedback Update
FirstGov.gov, the U.S. Government’s Official Web Portal, is making it easier for citizens to connect with the government in response to feedback from the Web site’s users and results from usability testing,
FirstGov.gov is America’s Internet access to a wealth of information, services and transactions available from the U.S. government. FirstGov.gov provides citizens with access to more than 180 million pages of online government, including resources from state and local governments, in addition to those of the federal government. FirstGov.gov also provides information on other customer channels the public can choose from, including phone, fax, e-mail and mail.
The current refresh marks the third major improvement to FirstGov.gov since its inception in Sept. of 2000. “Over the past year, FirstGov.gov has proven a critical tool in making it easy for citizens to get information and services. Clearly citizens want government to serve their needs on their terms. Last year, tens of millions more Americans used Firstgov.gov when we enabled citizens to get information and services in three clicks of a mouse. This refresh of FirstGov.gov makes the government even more accessible and responsive to citizen needs,” said Mark Forman, Administrator of E-Government and Information Technology, Office of Management and Budget.
The new “refreshed” site allows users to go straight into a Citizen Gateway, which provides easy access to government services and information from federal agencies and state and local governments. Those wanting information for use in business can click onto the Business and Non-Profits Gateway. Likewise, federal employees have their own gateway — Federal Employees –as do governments — Government-to-Government.
The continuously improving FirstGov.gov site has experienced explosive growth since coming on line. In 2001, 7 million people visited FirstGov.gov, viewing 48 million pages. FirstGov experienced a 444 percent growth in 2002, when 37 million FirstGov visitors viewed 110 million pages. Today, FirstGov.gov attracts about 6 million visitors a month. At this rate of growth, approximately 70 million visitors will benefit from FirstGov.gov this year.
GSA is a centralized federal procurement and property management agency created by Congress to improve government efficiency and help federal agencies better serve the public. The department acquires, on behalf of federal agencies, office space, equipment, telecommunications, information technology, supplies, and services.
Additionally, the Office of Citizen Services and Communications (OCSC) within GSA provides the resources for citizens to access federal, state and local information in a variety of waysvia the Web (FirstGov.gov), e-mail, telephone, fax, or print. OCSC also leads USA Services, an E-Government initiative that seeks to make the government more citizen-centric.