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Welcome to "Ask the White House" -- an online interactive forum where you can submit questions to White House officials.

Today's guest: Mark Forman, Administrator for E-Government and Information Technology

The Office of Electronic Government was formally launched today, signaling a permanent commitment to the President's E-Government initiatives. Forman will discuss the E-Government Initiatives, an integral part of the President's plan to make it easier for citizens to interact with the government, as well as the newly effective E-Government Act of 2002.

Mark Forman

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Mark Forman:
Good afternoon, I'm Mark Forman, the newly appointed Administrator of E-Government and Information Technology at the Office of Management and Budget. Welcome to the second "Ask the White House" online discussion. I am pleased to be here today to answer your questions, especially on this historic day as the E-Government Act of 2002 becomes effective, institutionalizing the President's efforts in E-Government.

Recent studies have indicated that citizens are demanding services from the government on line. The President, through his E-Government initiatives, is committed to providing government services to the on line citizen. The "Ask the White House" series is yet another way for our citizens to interact with the White House and the federal government.

Let's get the online discussion started . . .

Alan, from Arlington, Virginia writes:
Where do you see Federal IT efforts going 4 - 5 years from now? Whats in the future of e-government after this current wave of web-enabled services, the so-called QuickSilver inititatives, have been successfully implemented?

Mark Forman
Clearly, we are shifting from redundant buying behaviour by each agency to consolidated "Smart Buying." This means in 4-5 years we will see a greater portion of the Federal IT budget being spent on solutions that address high policy priorities and provide significant efficiency improvements, delivering better value to taxpayers.

Jack, from Scottsdale, AZ writes:
Will you need to defend eGov initiatives against the IT consultants and suppliers entrenched around the beltway? If so, how will you ensure responsive solutions to citizen needs vs. what we want to sell this year?

Mark Forman
We are making an aggressive effort to bring IT management best practices to the Federal government. This includes opening up the federal IT market-place to non-traditional suppliers who provide better value and more innovative solutions than the Federal government historically acquired.

Travis, from Edinburg, TX writes:
Mr. Forman, Was the U.S. Government satisfied with the number of tax returns that were filed after free online filing became available? Do you believe that online filing will become the standard way of filing in the future? Thank you for your time.

Mark Forman
The goal of the President is to have 80% of all tax returns filed on line by 2007. With respect to the Free Filing initiative, we hit the goal last week of 2.4 million Americans filing their taxes on line for free.

Karen, from Springfield writes:
When will citizens be able to read comments made by other citzens about proposed regulations online?

Mark Forman
Today at some of the major regulatory agencies, such as EPA and Department of Transportation, you may find and view other citizens' comments on proposed regulations.

Soon, on, one of the President's E-Gov initiatives, you will be able to find and comment on all proposed regulations.

Fahmeeda, from NY. NY writes:
What are the E-Government iniatives and how will it help an ordinary citizen communicate with the Government? What future plan does E-Gov hold? Will I be able to vote on-line without going to the polling booth in the future?

Mark Forman
There are many E-Gov initiatives focused on providing access to the government in "three-clicks" or less. Two good sources of information. is the portal to the federal government where you may obtain on line services and information. And is the website that has information about all of the President's E-Gov initiatives.

For example, if you wanted to find out information on parks and recreation facilities you could go to which you can easily find at the website.

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