Lots new is on deck for FirstGov

Lots new is on deck for FirstGov

By Thomas R. Temin

GCN Staff

MAY 18'How does disaster.gov strike you as a special button on the government's portal at www.firstgov.gov?

The notion drew hearty laughter this morning from the audience at a breakfast meeting of the Bethesda, Md., chapter of the Armed Forces Communication and Electronics Association.

In suggesting the idea, Beverly Godwin, FirstGov's director of content and new product development, was making a serious point. At least 20 cross-agency communities'such as disaster response, volunteering, science and research, and permits—lack subsites on FirstGov. Godwin said the FirstGov team has reserved uniform resource locators for such communities while seeking agency leaders to step up to the job of creating what she called 'the missing portals.'

For example, the Interior Department is spearheading development of volunteers.gov because many people like to volunteer at national parks and other land-related activities operated by Interior agencies, Godwin said. Similarly, there is interest from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in developing a disasters.gov site where various agencies involved in response could collaborate.

Meanwhile, Godwin said, her office will roll out several upgrades to the FirstGov site, including:

  • Easier navigation to state portals

  • Addition of 20 million pages of state information to the federal pages covered by the FirstGov search engine

  • A new section focusing on governmental transactions.

Plus, Godwin said, FirstGov will get a facelift.

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