FirstGov will be linked with USA Service app

FirstGov will be linked with USA Service app

The General Services Administration's FirstGov team appears likely to play a large role in the execution of OMB's e-government efforts to unify and simplify federal systems.

During the initiative selection process that began in August, GSA donated $100,000 to help the Quicksilver team, a group of 70 volunteers from 30 agencies across the federal government commissioned by Mark Forman, associate Office of Management and Budget director for IT and e-government, to select worthwhile federal IT projects.

In exchange, GSA will likely oversee one of the government's most visible electronic initiatives, USA Service, an application that will be integrated into Firstgov.gov, the portal GSA manages.

Forman suggested that FirstGov's fundraising concerns [see story at www.gcn.com/vol20_no13/news/4387-1.html] would be over as soon as USA Service came into play, because unlike FirstGov it is part of the 22 e-gov initiatives that will be funded by OMB.

Although agency leaders met with OMB behind closed doors Thursday to start moving on the project, the group made no decision about whether FirstGov would retain its name, how it will work with the new application or the cost of the initiative.

The group did decide to start work on the business case, an analysis of the project's objective, its value, types of data required, constraints and risks.

'What kind of bang for a buck do you get out of it?' asked Howard Landon, director of special projects in the CIO's office at the Energy Department.

After the business case is completed at the end of November, the project will again be subject to review by OMB and the President's Management Council, the group of agency chief operating officers that approved the initial 22 projects.

USA Service will link all of the e-government initiatives that fall under the government-to-citizen and government-to-business categories into one portal. [See story at www.gcn.com/vol1_no1/daily-updates/17375-1.html.]

'You go to FirstGov, it has an information portal as it is now on one side. The other side is a transaction service. That's the way I see it playing out,' Landon said.

In any case, agencies are going to have to finish their IT projects before USA Service can link up to them, he said.


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