FirstGov slips in Web rankings by standing still

The federal government's official e-government portal'FirstGov.gov'slid from first to ninth place in a ranking of the top federal government Web sites for 2005, in a new study by Brown University of Providence, R.I.

FirstGov's drop in the rankings can be attributed to its failure to add new features, said Darrell M. West, director of the Taubman Center for Public Policy at the university, who directed the study. As a result, he said, it was surpassed by others.

'FirstGov is still a really good site'in the top 10. It maintained what it had been doing, while other agencies have added features,' he said. For example, the White House added many new features, including an interactive e-mail update, which dramatically raised its score.

Web sites for the White House and the State and Treasury departments moved into first, second and third place in the ratings for federal sites for 2005, climbing from 30th, 26th and 15th place, respectively.

The sixth annual evaluation examined state and federal government Web sites for such factors as quality, usability, ease of access, number of special services and features, and display of privacy and disability policies.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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