THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT CLINTON AND VICE PRESIDENT GORE: MAJOR NEW "E-GOVERNMENT" INITIATIVES
Today in his first-ever Saturday webcast addressed to the Nation, President Clinton will unveil a series of new initiatives to give the American people the "Information Age" government they deserve. These steps will cut red tape, make government more responsive to the needs of citizens, and expand opportunities for participation in our democracy. These initiatives build on the Administration's efforts, led by Vice President Gore, that have already greatly expanded citizen access to online government information and services. By the end of the year:
CITIZENS WILL BE ABLE TO SEARCH ALL ONLINE RESOURCES OFFERED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FROM A SINGLE WEB SITE: A team lead by Internet entrepreneur Eric Brewer will create a single web site called "firstgov.gov" that will allow citizens to search all online government documents. This free site, which will be developed at no cost to the taxpayers, will have the ability to search half a billion documents in less than one-quarter of a second, and will be able to handle at least 100 million searches a day. This will make it much easier for citizens to find government information and services, which are currently located on at least 20,000 different web sites. The site will be available this fall, and will not collect any personal information from citizens.
CITIZENS, SMALL BUSINESSES AND COMMUNITY GROUPS WILL HAVE "ONE-STOP" ACCESS TO GRANTS AND PROCUREMENT OPPORTUNITIES: This year, the federal government will award roughly $300 billion in grants and buy $200 billion in goods and services. Currently, there is no place where vendors can access all of the information they need to bid on government contracts. Moreover, there are 30,000 different organizations across the United States that receive at least $300,000 in federal grants, and must deal with systems for grant applications that vary from agency to agency. By the end of the year, the Administration will make it possible for people to go online to bid on, or apply for, the vast majority of these procurements and grant opportunities. Moving this business online will save time and money, and will bring more Americans into the process by them the opportunity to compete for these funds.
CITIZENS WILL BE ENCOURAGED TO SUGGEST NEW IDEAS FOR ADVANCING E-GOVERNMENT: The Administration will work with the Council for Excellence in Government, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization, to launch a new "e-government" competition. The Council will seek applications from students, businesspeople, researchers, and government employees for new applications, new technology, and new ways that government can serve and connect with citizens electronically. A top prize of $50,000 will be awarded for the most innovative proposal to advance e-government that is user-friendly, accessible, cost-effective, secure, and protects the privacy of citizens' personal information. The Council has assembled a team of corporate sponsors for the competition from its Technology Leadership Consortium. For more information about the competition please contact Council for Excellence in Government President and CEO Patricia McGinnis at 202-728-0418, or visit their website at www.excelgov.org.