Press Releases: E-Gov & IT General
May 6, 2003
Refresh of FirstGov.gov Bringing Citizens ”My Government, My Terms“
Washington, D.C. - FirstGov.gov, the U.S. Government’s Official Web Portal, is making it easier than ever for citizens to connect with their government. Responding to feedback from the Web site’s users and employing the results of usability testing, FirstGov.gov has been refreshed.
”FirstGov.gov is a dynamic, ever improving Web site,“ explained M. J. Jameson, Associate Administrator for the Office of Citizen Services and Communications, where FirstGov.gov is housed within the U.S. General Services Administration. ”President Bush is making government more responsive and accountable to the citizen by making sure we consistently offer easy access to federal and state government information and resources. FirstGov.gov is narrowing the distance between citizens and their government.“
FirstGov.gov is America’s "Front Door" 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 on-line 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 FirstGov.gov site was launched in September 2000 and was relaunched by Vice President Cheney in February 2002, adding customer segmentation improvements and a greater focus on on-line services.
The current refresh marks the third major improvement to FirstGov.gov to keep the portal ”customer focused.“ The latest improvement follows President Bush’s mandate in his Management Agenda to champion citizen-centered electronic government that will result in a major improvement in the federal government’s value to the citizen.
"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.
Site improvements made to FirstGov.gov using customer feedback and usability testing are augmented by intelligence picked up from such industry tools as the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), as well as from studies of Internet usage conducted by renowned sources like the Pew Foundation and Hart-Teeter.
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. It 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 ways—via 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.