Comptroller calls for more Web transactions

Comptroller calls for more Web transactions

Agencies have made headway in electronic government, but they should be conducting far more transactions over the Internet, comptroller general David M. Walker said at last month's E-Gov conference in Washington.

State and local governments are ahead of federal agencies in putting transactions online because citizens are pushing for such access, Walker said.

The United States came in third behind Canada and Singapore as a global leader in Web-based government in a recent e-government survey by Accenture of Chicago, Walker noted [GCN, April 16, Page 5].But he called many of the federal government's activities unsophisticated and designed solely to disseminate information.

'A lot of low-hanging fruit has been picked,' Walker said.

Agencies should seek 'meaningful, positive results' instead of a superficial increase in Web presence, he said.

Walker cited the U.S. savings bond electronic-sales program and the Federal Business Opportunities site, at, as examples of the kind of e-government innovation the Bush administration would like to have.

Walker listed five critical factors in e-government:

  • Disciplined management approach

  • Adequate network capacity

  • Secure computing environment

  • Effective document management and

  • Nurturing agencies' information technology personnel, whom he referred to as 'the human capital.'

  • Walker said he would testify before a Senate panel this week about the General Accounting Office's efforts to improve work force retention and training.

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