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FirstGov Recognized for Giving Citizens Easy Access to Information

GSA #9912

December 4, 2001
Contact: Eleni Martin (202) 501-1231
eleni.martin@gsa.gov


WASHINGTON, DC -FirstGov (www.firstgov.gov), the federal government's official Web gateway, was named one of 11 winners of the 2001 Grace Hopper Government Technology Leadership Award. The award, presented by Government Executive, was given in recognition of FirstGov giving citizens easy access to information about all levels of government from one location on the Web. FirstGov.gov accesses more than 53 million federal and state government Web pages in a quarter of a second.

The Government Technology Leadership Award is named after the late Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper. Hopper, known for setting her clock to run counterclockwise as a reminder of the benefits of unconventional thinking, was a champion of innovation in the computer industry and helped pioneer the COBOL programming language in the 1950s.

Responding to the needs of citizens after the terrorist attacks of September 11, the FirstGov staff quickly gathered, verified, and posted critical information ranging from hospital telephone numbers to federal and state assistance programs to how to report a tip to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"The tragic events of September 11 showcased the fact that there is one site on the Internet where people can go to at anytime to quickly and easily find government information," said Deborah Diaz, Deputy Associate Administrator of the Office of FirstGov in the GSA Office of Governmentwide Policy.

Since its launch in September 2000, FirstGov has become an Internet success with more than five million hits per month. FirstGov helps citizens do more online business than ever before, such as applying for student loans, finding jobs, renewing drivers' licenses, and comparing Medicare options. As a result of FirstGov's catalytic influence, government is also changing the way it thinks about its online services and many agencies have redesigned web sites to be more citizen-focused, added email feedback channels for the public, and worked across agency lines to create new portals, including ones for nutrition and children.

FirstGov is an interagency initiative that is administered by GSA. The FirstGov search engine is provided by The Federal Search Foundation.