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National Capital Area Chapter
American Society for Public Administration

Spring Conference

People, Politics, and Technology: Public Service in the 21st Century

May 12, 2000

Remarks by

Patricia B. Wood
National Partnership for Reinventing Government

Public Management in a dot-gov World



We are currently working with others to ensure an architectural design to give Americans access to all government information and be able to conduct all major transactions online by 2003.


  • The IRS lets taxpayers download and retrieve publications and forms as well as file taxes electronically. This year, about 33 million taxpayers filed their 1999 returns online.

    The American Customer Satisfaction Index showed customer satisfaction scores for IRS e-file exceed those of the retail sector and rival those of the financial services sector! E-filing delivers faster refunds and reduces to one percent the chance that a filer may get an error notice from the IRS.

  • The Department of Labor's JobBank lets people look for job postings on-line and employers to search tens of thousands of resumes electronically.
  • The Department of Education's Office of Student Financial Aid processed more than 670,000 loan applications electronically during the '98-99 loan cycle.
  • The Federal Judiciary allows nine Federal, District, and Bankruptcy courts to initiate new cases or file pleadings electronically.
  • The Postal Service sells its products -- stamps included -- online. And recently the Postal Service began a demonstration of a new service, eBillPay. Businesses send their statements to customers and customers pay their bills - all online.
  • About 34,000 people filled out the short Census2000 forms online.
  • Workers can file workplace safety complaints online on OSHA's new Workers' Page.
  • OSHA is among the semi-finalists for the prestigious Innovations in American Government Award. OSHA'S Expert Advisors are a number of online expert computer software products. They enable businesses - even the workers in the company - to answer a few simple questions about such things as asbestos, lead, fire safety and others things and receive reliable information about how government regulations apply to their unique workplaces.
  • The U.S. Geological Survey recently became the first agency in the federal government to fully automate its hiring process.

GSA's Federal Technology Service is leading the way in electronic procurement. It's conducting its procurement process for 2001 in a totally paperless environment. GSA issued every potential bidder a digital signature certificate that uses cryptography to ensure an electronic transaction that is secure and verifiable. Bidders sign and submit their initial proposals digitally. GSA issues the contract to winning bidders in an electronic signing ceremony. This process has already saved $1.5 million in staff hours

A survey by Dell Computers last September revealed that 90 percent of the public want to get their driver licenses and tags online; 78 percent want to vote, and 70 percent want to pay traffic tickets.

  • The government has an estimated 20,000 separate homepages and 100 million webpages, all different. Many are organized according to what the agency thinks is important - its stove pipe organizations, for example, not by topic.
  • Data and activities are duplicated across government agencies. Twelve agencies, for example, oversee food safety under the authority of 35 different laws.
  • Dot-gov isn't keeping pace with dot-com.
  • Citizens can't find what they don't know to look for. And with few exceptions -- the dynamite U.S. Mint comes to mind - government agencies don't market their online services.


Dallas Morning News

kiosk provides information about nearly 50 categories of government benefits and services at the touch of a button or a keystroke. The information includes local, state and federal government material.

Forms are available from the Internal Revenue Service and INS, as well as for passport applications and driver's license change of address

This is going to bring the INS, and government in general, closer to the communities we serve," said John E. Ramirez, INS deputy district director in Dallas.

34 being installed nationwide. Three were already in Texas: in Bedford, Waco and Corsicana.

Each machine costs about $10,000 and is sponsored by a local government office or community organization in partnership with the federal government.

Obviously this alone won't solve all our problems, but I believe we are making strides to provide some relief," he said. - Ramirez


National Partnership for Reinventing Government

Creating a Culture of Change and Reconnecting Americans to Their Government

  • Overall, NPR recommended and Congress adopted savings of about $136 billion since 1993.


  • NPR recommended a series of government procurement reforms. Over the last seven years, those changes have saved the American taxpayers more than $12 billion.


  • More than 1,200 Hammer Award teams have been honored for reinvention and cost savings of $37 billion.


  • During the Clinton-Gore Administration, federal spending -- on a per capita basis -- grew at the slowest rate since the Eisenhower Administration, not including inflation.


  • The government is smaller than it's been in 40 years. It has 377,000 fewer employees than in 1993. This represents a 17% reduction in the size of the federal civilian workforce. It's smaller, leaner, and more efficient.


  • Agencies have completed a substantial majority of the 1,500 recommendations NPR made in 1993 and 1995. They've completed about two-thirds of the original 1993 recommendations.


  • Some of the recommended changes required Presidential and Congressional action. As a result, President Clinton signed nearly 50 new directives and Congress passed nearly 100 laws.


Develop an architectural design to enable Americans to have access to all government information and be able to conduct all major transactions on-line by 2003.


VA Team Gets Hammer Award
A Department of Veterans Affairs team was honored for developing software that uses bar codes to ensure that patients in VA hospitals get the right medicine.


Wisconsin revamping tax system

The new system will be Web-enabled, allowing about 170,000 businesses to pay sales taxes online, transfer payments electronically and review their payment history

Maryland has posted its 50 largest tax delinquents online in an attempt to retrieve more than $9.7 million owed in overdue taxes, penalties and interest.  The list has already worked for some individuals, Golden said. When delinquents were notified about the online postings, the office collected more than $153,000 from seven respondents and received commitments from about 12 others.