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Presidential Initiatives

USA Services

Program Manager(s)

Stuart Willoughby

Managing Partner

General Services Administration (GSA)

Description, the Federal government’s official web portal, and 1-(800)-FED-INFO, the telephone number for official government information, are the first places citizens, businesses and visitors to the U.S. and other government agencies turn to for official government information every day - especially during national emergencies. The direct delivery of services, which also includes the distribution of federal print publications from Pueblo, CO, is managed by the well-established Federal Citizen Information Center (FCIC).

USA Services provides leadership in researching and promoting best practices in citizen services among all levels of government in the United States and with other countries. The USA Services Intergovernmental Solutions Division and Web Best Practices team (sponsors of and Web Manager University) both provide resources and training on citizen service to program officials across government at the Federal, state and local levels.

Progress to Date (formerly is the first federal portal to make official government information available through a single Internet gateway. is the first website to offer comprehensive government information in Spanish. is also rapidly expanding the amount of state, local, territorial and tribal government information available on the site.

Working with partner agencies, USA Services has saved the Federal government over $75 million in the last three years. These savings have been achieved through a variety of programs and services including the FirstContact contract vehicle, Tier 1 program, FAQ system and misdirects program.

USA Services increased its annual public touchpoints by 67% in 2007 to 222 million. At the same time it reduced the average cost of “citizen touchpoints” to $0.21 in FY07 from $0.26 in FY06 - a 20% reduction.

In FY07, USA Services provided citizen access to over 50 million documents from Federal, state, local, territorial and tribal governments via USA Search - up from 8 million prior to January 2006, when the government Internet search site was upgraded. The new search engine saves the government $1.4 million a year over the old search engine.

USA Services has won multiple awards in 2007:

USA Services Provides Leadership to Other Agencies:

  • USA Services Intergovernmental Solutions conducted 50 intergovernmental information-sharing meetings, workshops, videoconferences, teleconferences, webinars for officials of federal state, local and other national governments to foster collaboration among the members of an extensive network of senior government officials
  • USA Services’ National Contact Center aggregated government information into a centralized database. This database maintains continuously updated answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) reducing phone call and email volume, and saving the government as much as $5 million per year
  • USA Services conducted a full and open competition for the USA Contact contract vehicle. USA Contact is a result of a successful FirstContact contract vehicle under which USA Services has awarded 15 task orders to agency partners over a 4 year period
  • Created the FirstContact Procurement Toolkit to clarify and expedite the process for FirstContact procurements - a result of lessons learned after the Katrina hurricane
  • As part of its leadership role in improving U.S. government websites, sponsored the interagency Web Advisory Council. The Council coordinates web activities and best practices across the federal government and helps agencies meet federal requirements and policies
  • In FY07, Web Manager University trained over 3,500 government web professionals and attracted over 1 million visitors - recognition of the significant demand among government Web managers for training and resources that they can apply to improve government websites

Adopting new Technologies:

  • Used social networking technology, such as “wikis,” to promote collaboration across all levels of government, attracting over 1.1 million visitors between October 2006 and May 2007
  • Created and deployed an online ordering system to support the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) bulk publication distribution
  • Developed the Citizen Services Cost Calculator to help agencies estimate and compare the costs associated with establishing and operating a contact center. This tool won the Federal Government’s CIO Council Leadership Award in 2006
  • has launched nine online tutorials, each specifically designed to teach visitors how to access government information and services on the Internet and how to accomplish their government business
  • has launched, a new general government Weblog to further improve citizen access to official government information and services. The blog features daily posts from a GSA team of five managers
  • In addition, RSS feeds and email alerts are now being provided in both English and Spanish

Market Research:

  • Completed a comprehensive government-wide customer service census of quantity and quality of customer services activities across the federal government for trends, changes and identification of issues and obstacles that hinder efforts to improve customer satisfaction
  • Completed a comprehensive Citizens' Service-Level Expectations: Phase 1 study to identify the expectations and preferences for members of the public who contact government agencies today, as well as expectations they have about contacting government agencies in the future
  • Conducted follow on research, Citizens’ Service-Level Expectations: Phase 2 - Supplemental Study, on Citizens’ Service-Level Expectations and preferences for communication channels when contracting government for persons age 65 and older, persons of lower income households (under $30,000 annually) and persons of Hispanic heritage
  • USA Services’ Federal Solutions Division completed a study for Improving Citizen Customer Service Metrics, Benchmarks, Best Practices and Technology Trends in the public and private sectors. Some agencies and companies are already highly rated for their customer service and we want to learn from them

Next Steps

  • Award the USA Contact contract, a $2.5 billion, 13-year contact vehicle for contact center services
  • Establish the USA Services Annual Citizen Service Award to recognize agencies across the government that have improved their delivery of citizen services via Web, telephone and/or email
  • Create video library for
  • Develop partnerships with Hispanic media outlets and community based organizations to expand marketing of
  • Continuing to conduct citizen research and focus groups to determine changes or new trends in citizen expectations and preferred methods of communication with government
  • Complete a best practices study in customer satisfaction measurement that government agencies can use to better understand how to improve the quality of services they provide to citizens
  • Establish the Web Best Practice Peer Awards and Annual Web Managers Conference
  • Develop and implement a News Aggregator on
  • Establish the Government Customer Services Community of Interest to jointly develop recommendations for problems important to government customer service professionals
  • Establish the Council of Government Contact Center Leaders to provide a forum for government contact center leaders to network and share research and best practices
  • Develop a “National Web Strategy” that will outline major initiatives for dramatically improving government websites to better serve the public
  • Make available on mobile devices

Citizen Customer Service


USA Services Metrics

Exhibit 300

Managing Partner Agency Exhibit 300


During FY07 USA Services had 222 million citizen contacts:

  • 1-800-FED-INFO (333-4636) — In FY07, the National Contact Center handled over 35.2 million calls and processed over 108,500 e-mails in both English and Spanish within a pledged two business days
  • — The Federal government’s portal to on-line services and information for the public had 97 million citizen touchpoints in FY07 - a 67% increase over FY06.,, and other affiliated websites equaled an additional 22 million touchpoints - for a total of nearly 119 million website visits
  • Publications Center in Pueblo, CO distributes hundreds of different publications for forty agencies, totaling approximately 22 million publications in FY07
  • Published four editions of the Consumer Information Catalog, the quarterly publication listing more than 200 of the most popular and useful federal publications for the general public. Distributed 10.6 million copies of the Catalog from Pueblo CO
  • Delivered messages on 14 million tax refund envelopes that promoted awareness of and 1-800-FED-INFO.
  • Educated and empowered citizens through consumer information articles appearing more than 1,700 times in online outlets, newspapers and magazines nationwide
  • Produced and distributed posters promoting and 1-800-FED-INFO to 33,000 public high school and college libraries

Citizens now have access to over 50 million documents from Federal, state, local, territorial and tribal governments via USA Search - up from 8 million prior to January 2006, when the government Internet search site was upgraded. The number of searches performed on USA Search doubled after this improvement was made. The new search engine also saves the government $1.4 million a year over the old search engine.

Dozens of agencies (including 95% of the cabinet agencies) partner with USA Services to handle misdirected e-mails and phone calls from the public enabling citizens to get the help they need and agencies to focus on their core mission.