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New Web Toolkit Unveiled Offers Recipe for Success

GSA #10112

September 15, 2004
Contact: Deborah K. Ruiz (202) 501-1231
deborah.ruiz@gsa.gov

WASHINGTON, D.C. – FirstGov.gov, Uncle Sam’s most successful federal website, provided a sneak preview of an online toolkit that will enable all federal agencies to replicate the success of this award-winning site.

This toolkit was demonstrated on the occasion of FirstGov.gov’s fourth anniversary and selection for a prestigious Innovations in American Government Award.  The kit will guide federal web managers as they design U.S. government websites to be the most citizen-focused and visitor-friendly in the world. 

The Interagency Committee on Government Information (ICGI), through a team of web managers representing all Cabinet agencies, developed the toolkit to provide easy access to best practices and other practical tools that will enable agencies to replicate the most successful and innovative web sites in government.  This will help achieve an important goal of President Bush’s Management Agenda.

FirstGov.gov, managed by the U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of Citizen Services and Communications (OCSC), was named an Innovations in American Government Award winner in 2003 by the Ash Institute at Harvard University and the Council for Excellence in Government.  Attendees at today’s event learned that since FirstGov.gov was created four years ago, visits to the site have climbed from 14 million in 2001 to an expected 70 million visitors this year. 

“With the close guidance, strong leadership and constant support of President Bush, FirstGov.gov has come a long way in four short years, and we can only imagine what new levels of efficiency and effectiveness are on the horizon to keep citizens plugged into their government,” said GSA Administrator Stephen A. Perry, addressing a crowd of more than 200 attendees in the Diplomatic Reception Rooms at the U.S. State Department.

The occasion also provided an opportunity for attendees to get the first glimpse of GSA’s latest television public service advertisement for FirstGov.gov, which demonstrates in a light-hearted way the lengths the government will go to in order to serve the public.

“FirstGov.gov is the embodiment of the President’s E-Gov vision,” said M.J. Jameson, Associate Administrator of the Office of Citizen Services and Communications, also noted that, “FirstGov’s success to date shows President Bush was right – Americans want their government centered around citizens, not bureaucracies.”

During the event, guests also viewed the premiere of a 9-minute segment featuring FirstGov.gov slated to appear in “The Visionaries,” a nationally broadcast public television series hosted by acclaimed actor Sam Waterston. The episode featuring FirstGov.gov will be broadcast to PBS stations during the 2004-05 television season.

FirstGov.gov links to all state and tribal government home pages, as well as many local government web sites, providing easy access to government resources through a single website organized by audience and topic.

Since its launch in 2000 as the official web portal of the U.S. government, FirstGov.gov has demonstrated increasing public usage and popularity and achieved recognizable success among industry and federal IT circles. 

OCSC expects a total of 230 million public contacts during 2004, of which 200 million are expected to be FirstGov.gov page views. FirstGov is a key component of USA Services, an E-Government initiative managed by OCSC.