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Press Releases: Government to Citizen

July 30, 2004

USA Services Marks First Birthday, Hits 230 Million Citizen Contacts

Washington, DC - The U.S. General Services Administration today marked the first anniversary of USA Services, noting that the Presidential E-Gov initiative has continued to serve federal agencies and citizens alike since its launch, more than doubling its federal agency partners.

"Growing numbers of citizens and government partners are realizing what USA Services can do for them," said M.J. Jameson, Associate Administrator for GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Communications. "This year we'll answer more than 100,000 e-mails -- more than twice the amount received last year. We also expect to have 200 million page views from the public to FirstGov. Such volume speaks well to the interest citizens have in accessing government on their own terms."

USA Services is managed by GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Communications.

At its launch in July 2003, USA Services had signed 12 federal agency partners. Fiscal Year 2002 indicated 124 million total public contacts, of which about 92 million were page views and nearly 15,000 e-mail inquiries. What a difference a year makes. USA Services now has more than 30 federal partners and the most recent data available indicates a total of 230 million public contacts.

Research released in May indicates USA Services "was a really good idea," according to Lee Rainie, director of Pew Internet and American Life Project, as he announced the study results, How Americans Get in Touch with Government, during the Management of Change conference in Philadelphia. "For now at least, people want multiple ways to deal with government, and I think that will be true for some time."

With its arrival, USA Services, one of 24 Presidential E-Gov initiatives, has given Americans a new relationship with their government, providing a single "front door" to the information and services they need in a timeframe they can appreciate. USA Services supports the President’s directive to ignite a culture change in government -- one that shifts the focus away from agency needs and more toward citizen needs, allowing them to receive accurate, timely, and consistent answers and information and helps other Presidential E- Gov initiatives and federal agencies better respond to citizen inquiries.

The different components of USA Services, (the official U.S. government Web portal), the National Contact Center (1-800-FED-INFO), and the distribution center in Pueblo, Colo., allow citizens to tap into government through all channels: the Internet, telephone, e-mail, or publications, bringing the President’s goal of using electronic government to speed access to federal information and services closer to the citizen than ever before.

Additionally, GSA last week announced the contract award for contact center services to five vendors. A unique contract, it is part of the USA Services initiative and is available through GSA to federal agencies, helping them to effectively deliver information to citizens.

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