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Governmentwide Electronic Messaging Survey Results Point to Bright Future for E-Mail

GSA #9378

January 13, 1997
Contact: Bill Bearden
(202) 501-1231
Internet: bill.bearden@gsa.gov

The U.S. General Services Administration today announced the findings of an intensive collaborative effort with Federal, State, Local, and Tribal governments to survey the status of electronic communications.

The findings in the report entitled Government Electronic Messaging Survey Analysis Report, confirm widespread belief that electronic messaging systems will play an increasingly vital role in future business affairs of the United States Government.

GSA's Federal Telecommunications Service, Electronic Messaging Program Management Office (E-mail PMO), directed by Jack L. Finley, sent the Government Electronic Messaging Survey to 223 government organizations.

"Specifically, the survey went to all top-level Federal organizations," Finley said. "By top level, I mean to the Department of Defense rather than each branch of service. It went to the 50 States and District of Columbia, the 31 largest Tribal Nations, and the 4 largest U.S. Commonwealths." To date, according to Finley, 82 organizations, or 36 percent of those surveyed, have responded. The survey results will assist the E-mail PMO in defining and advancing business quality messaging (BQM) among all levels of government and the public they serve.

"Using the results of the Analysis Report as a benchmark, we plan to periodically re-issue portions of the survey to continue measuring the progress of government electronic messaging," Finley said.

According to Finley, the Analysis Report results are expected to be a "blueprint" for the standardization of governmentwide electronic messaging operations and more efficient governmental electronic communications in general. "The Analysis Report," he said, "marks a significant advancement in defining and achieving business quality connectivity and interoperability."

The strategic plan of the E-Mail PMO is to provide leadership, direction, and enabling technology specifications for using information resources to make the vision of Governmentwide BQM a reality. According to Finley, since its inception in 1994 the E-Mail PMO has made many valuable resources available to all Government organizations. He said that in addition to previous efforts such as a large number of messaging design and guidance papers and the operational Government Electronic X.500 Directory, "this Analysis Report marks a significant advancement in achieving business quality connectivity and interoperability between all entities of the Federal, State, Tribal, and Commonwealth governments."

Some highlights of the report include:

Over 95 percent of all responding organizations expect both inter- and intra-organizational e-mail to be important for the conduct of their business within two years. E-mail was rated as the most cost-effective form of electronic inter-personal communications.
The Analysis Report indicated a high degree of reliance by government e-mail users on electronic directory services. Of the large Federal respondents, 95 percent either operate an organizational-wide directory or plan to do so in the next two years.
A majority of respondents75 percent of large Federal, 63 percent of States, and nearly 50 percent of small Federal organizationssaid a government electronic commerce service would be useful.

The report will be available on Internet at: www.fed.gov (under what's new, visit our ftp site). Additionally, the report is available via ftp at: ftp.fed.gov - and is located in /Emailpmo/Survey/Survey.doc.

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