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General Services Administration and Sprint Publishing Partner toIssue New Federal Blue Pages in Florida Tri County Area Telephone Books

GSA #9455

December 22, 1997
Contact: Bill Bearden
December 22, 1997

WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. General Services Administration and Sprint Publishing & Advertising have announced the redesign and simplification of Federal government blue pages listings in the 1998 Central Florida Sprint Yellow Pages telephone directories currently being distributed.

The new, more user-friendly, four-color blue pages will serve the Central Florida Tri County area, including Metro Orlando. Eventually these revised blue pages will be published in Sprint Yellow Pages' telephone directories in its top 50 U.S. markets covering 18 states.

The blue pages project is sponsored by the Vice President's National Performance Review and coordinated by GSA. It is a collaborative effort of Sprint, other directory publishers, and 24 Federal agencies to make it easier to find Federal services in more than 6,200 telephone directories nationwide.

Distribution of the new directories, which began this month in Metro Orlando and in the counties of Orange, Osceola, and Seminole, culminates many months of successful hard work and collaborative effort between Sprint and GSA, according to Dave Gibson of the GSA blue pages project.

Other Sprint Yellow Page directories that will feature the blue pages include Greenville, NC, Jacksonville, NC, Rocky Mount, NC, Beaufort, SC, Naples, FL, Punta Gorda, FL, and Tri-Cities/Johnson City, TN directories among others.

The blue pages project is one of the most visible initiatives of Vice President Al Gore's National Performance Review, which is aimed at making government work better and cost less.

In the spirit of reinvention, Sprint has lead the way nationwide in publishing revised blue pages without charge to the government. The Orlando effort is the latest example of Sprint's outstanding public service awareness which has resulted in the savings of hundreds of thousands of tax dollars. Sprint has to date published and distributed new blue pages, at no cost to the taxpayers, in 25 cities across the country reaching over 6 million people.

Fayetteville, NC was the first Sprint directory to contain the redesigned, more user-friendly pages and the location for Sprint receiving the National Performance Review's prestigious Hammer Award on August 18th. Vice President Gore commended Sprint for their accomplishments by saying, "Your team at Sprint not only took on the mission of fixing the problem, you went the extra mile to publish these new listings at no cost to the Federal government." He added that no cost to the government "translates to savings for taxpayers". Sprint's work in the Orlando market carries on this tradition of excellent service to the public.

"The new blue pages symbolize our commitment to serving the needs of the public and our role in improving government efficiency,'' said Bob Walsh, president of Sprint Publishing & Advertising, in accepting the award. Walsh said that in the past, directory users have struggled to find appropriate government offices. "The new blue pages," he said, "list most government services by topic and provide Internet website addresses."

Gore has referred to the blue pages as "the low-tech puzzle that must be solved before reaching the high-tech government." Since government telephone numbers have traditionally been listed by organization�not by service, as in the Yellow Pages�Federal services have not been very accessible. For example, the U.S. Passport Agency, which used to be listed only under "s" for "State Department," is listed in the new blue pages under "p" for "passport."

Surveys show that half the users of the original blue pages give up before they get the information they need because they cannot locate the number for a particular office.

"The blue pages are used 81 million times a year," GSA Administrator David Barram said. "They often are the first contact someone has with the government. Simplifying blue pages provides a great service to taxpayers. Sprint's accomplishment is proof that government-private sector partnerships can create a government that works better and costs less."

Recent feedback from citizens in various cities where blue pages have been revised show that they are very pleased with the icons, color and graphics that make the blue pages much easier to read and use. They liked the inclusion of internet addresses, cross references, narrative descriptions of products and services of the Federal government, and the use of bigger type fonts.

After using the new blue pages, some said that they were "shocked" to learn how many products and services are available from the Federal government -- that they pay taxes for -- but didn't know about. Items such as the services of the Small Business Administration, alcohol treatment referrals, consumer hotlines, housing information, plant health information, pension benefits, immunization and childhood diseases, Medicare, aging and eldercare, are but a few examples.

Sprint Publishing & Advertising Inc. is the official publisher of the Sprint Yellow Pages. Sprint Publishing, the nation's 10th largest Yellow Pages publisher, is a subsidiary of Sprint, a global communications company and the world's largest carrier of Internet traffic.

When the project is complete, citizens across the nation are going to be more in touch with their Federal government as a result of Vice President Gore's blue pages project, which goes hand-in-hand with government reinvention.


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CONTACTS FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

National Performance Review: Michael Russell (202) 632-0190 or michael.russell@npr.gsa.gov
General Services Administration: Bill Bearden (202) 501-1231 or bill.bearden@gsa.gov; also David A. Gibson (404) 331-1670 or davida.gibson@gsa.gov
Sprint Yellow Pages: Katherine Vaccaro, (407) 898-8955 or keo@sprintmail.com