Labor pushes its electronic agenda forward

The Labor Department has rolled out new e-government initiatives to bring services and information to the public quickly and easily as well as handle internal business efficiently.

Patrick Pizzella, Labor's CIO and assistant secretary for administration and management, said the new services build on already significant e-government strides made by the department.

The latest offering of an e-mail subscription service will let users receive regular updates on things such as news releases, disability employment policies and labor law compliance.

In writing

'We have our e-gov strategic plan, adopted last year, on our Web site,' Pizzella said. 'There's the e-property project. We didn't have a property management system here. [Now] we will have one that can track a lot of the property of the department, the assets of the federal government.'

The first internal effort undertaken by Labor was to establish a common e-mail system. That project was completed almost two years ago, he said, and the next phase'a Microsoft Active Directory for all employees'is under way.

The GovBenefits portal, another initiative in operation for some time, includes more than 200 state programs, Pizzella said, with more to be added. The GovBenefits Web site is a little more than two years old, and he said there have been 12 million visitors so far. In April, the department rolled out a Spanish-language version of the Quicksilver portal.

Within the department, agencies have expanded their capabilities as well. The Mine Safety and Health Administration accepts many documents electronically. The Wage and Hour Division is operating the Wage Determination Online program, which provides wage determinations required on most federal and federally funded construction and service contracts.

Pizzella said the department's funding for these and other initiatives has remained relatively flat for the past three years, at about $400 million. We get a scorecard from the Office of Management and Budget, he said. 'There's a reward for getting things done on time and on budget.'

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