FirstGov officials set rules for companies using government data

FirstGov officials set rules for companies using government data

By Christopher Dorobek

GCN Staff

JULY 3—Web site operators seeking to provide visitors with access to government information will be able to use data collected by, the proposed federal Web portal, as long as they follow certain rules, officials said last week.

The new site will give citizens a first, free view of government information, but it will also enable vendors to add value. Those vendors could then charge for services, said Administrator David J. Barram of the General Services Administration. The original information would continue to be available at no cost, he said.

FirstGov will let companies use the information and put a FirstGov certification on their site if they follow these conditions:

  • The sites must use the federal information as is.
  • They must provide free, uninterrupted public access to government Web sites.
  • They may not track individual user movements to or through the government information.
  • They may not include any active banner ads on the screens where a FirstGov page is displayed.
  • All government information must be clearly and conspicuously attributed.
  • Government material must not be placed with or near pornography or pages that violate law.
  • Sections that contain FirstGov information must comply with accessibility guidelines established by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Meanwhile, FirstGov has also created a board of directors to manage the branding efforts.

The board includes eight members of President Clinton's Management Council. The are Barram; Mortimer Downey, Transportation Department deputy secretary; William Halter, Social Security Administration deputy commissioner; Sally Katzen, counselor to the director of the Office of Management and Budget; William Lynn, undersecretary of the Defense Department; Robert Mallett, Commerce Department deputy secretary; Mike McCabe, Environmental Protection Agency deputy administrator; and Morley Winograd, director of the National Partnership for Reinventing Government.

The board also includes three members of the Chief Information Officers Council: Roger Baker of Commerce, George Molaski of Transportation and Bill Piatt of GSA.

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