Portals open up more public info, study says

Portals open up more public info, study says

Portal sites for state and federal information have improved government Web services noticeably over the past year, a study this month reported.

The report, State and Federal E-Government in the United States, 2001, conducted by researchers at Brown University's Taubman Center for Public Policy, looked at 1,813 state and federal sites and concluded that portals had made 'excellent progress' on integrating Web service delivery.

The report, at www.brown.edu/Departments/Taubman_Center, slammed federal judiciary sites for not making more opinions available, but it lauded several federal sites. Among them were those hosted by the Consumer Product Safety and Federal Communications commissions, Food and Drug Administration, IRS, Small Business Administration, and Agriculture, Defense, Education, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development departments.

Portals reduce the 'tower of Babel' factor in navigating agencies' sites, according to the report.

But the researchers criticized government for not taking a more commercial approach by letting visitors customize pages to deliver just the information they want.

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