September 22, 2000
Today, in an Internet address to the nation, President Clinton announced the launch of FirstGov – the first U.S. Government web site to provide the public with one-stop access to all federal government on-line information and services. Located at www.firstgov.gov, FirstGov will allow citizens to search all on-line federal government resources from one site, conduct searches faster and more efficiently, and access federal government information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Last June, the President announced the concept of FirstGov in his first-ever webcast address to the nation, challenging government and industry to finish its creation within 90 days. Today – exactly 90 days later – the President announced the launch of the site. Building on President Clinton's and Vice President Gore's efforts to expand citizen access to on-line government, FirstGov will cut red tape, make government more responsive, and expand opportunities for participation in our democracy.
BRINGING GOVERNMENT CLOSER TO THE PEOPLE. FirstGov connects Americans to all 27 million federal agency web pages, providing citizens with a single point of entry to one of the largest and most useful collections of web pages in the world. With FirstGov, citizens can take advantage of a wide array of government services, such as applying for student loans, planning for retirement, tracking Social Security benefits, getting advice on buying a home or starting a business, reserving a campsite in a national park, or conducting research at the Library of Congress. FirstGov will bring government closer to the American people, expand the reach of democracy and making government more responsive to citizens. The FirstGov web site:
- Makes it faster and easier for citizens to locate government information and services;
- Provides free access to government information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week;
- Allows citizens to search for government information by topic, rather than by agency;
- Searches half a billion documents in less than one-fourth of a second; and
- Maintains strong privacy standards to safeguard citizens' on-line communications and transactions with the government.
BUILDING ON A RECORD OF LEADERSHIP IN E-GOVERNMENT AND TECHNOLOGY. As the first Administration of the Internet Age, President Clinton and Vice President Gore have worked to expand the use of technology in schools, bridge the digital divide and make technology available for all Americans, promote electronic commerce, and accelerate research and development that will help create more high-paying jobs in the future. Under the Clinton-Gore Administration:
- Overall investment in education technology has increased from $23 million in 1993 to $769 million in FY 2000;
- The number of classrooms connected to the Internet has increased from 3% in 1993 to 65% in 1999;
- Funding has tripled for Community Technology Centers, which provide computer and Internet access to low-income urban and rural neighborhoods;
- A 3-year moratorium was imposed on Internet access taxes and taxes that discriminate against e-commerce; and
- Funding has been increased in information technology research and development, including the "Next Generation Internet" which is connecting universities and national labs at speeds that are 1,000 times faster than today's Internet.