America Online Launches
America Sites Are Among the Top-rated Government Sites
Online recently launched GovermentGuide,
a new site that organizes hundreds of government agencies and more
than 4,000 government web sites in a clear, easily-searchable and
intuitive directory for consumers.
a comprehensive guide to government web sites with new consumer-friendly
features such as a one-stop complaint center, GovernmentGuide makes
it simple for consumers to find and take advantage of the government
resources, programs and services that can improve their daily lives.
The new site
provides government agencies with important consumer feedback on
how their services and communications could be improved. From reporting
problems with children's cribs to figuring out how to pay for college,
GovernmentGuide will direct consumers to the most useful Web-based
resources within the government. Ann Brown, Chairman of U.S. Consumer
Product Safety Commission, one of the agencies featured on the site,
asked: "Is government confusing to you? Thanks to AOL, you can find
out quickly if the toys and other things you buy are safe-and anything
else you need to know from your federal government. I commend AOL
for using the power of the Internet to benefit American families
in this way." Key features of GovernmentGuide include:
of Government Resources-GovernmentGuide offers consumers a comprehensive
and easily-searchable directory of hundreds of government agencies
and more than 4,000 government web sites.
Complaint Center-GovernmentGuide users can immediately register
their complaints with the appropriate federal agency about problems
they've encountered with products or services.
Rate this Government
Site-For the first time, users are able to rate each government
site on a scale of one to five, telling other people how useful
the sites are and offering government agencies valuable feedback
to make their Web sites better. Site visitors are invited to rate
each site on such criteria as whether the "content was helpful"
and "worth my tax dollars." AOL's new GovernmentGuide site features
Access America Online Magazine as a "top pick" on the "Officials
and Agencies" page. Site visitors have also given 5-star ratings
to Access America for Students,
the General Service Administration's
Consumer Information Center,and the Social
Security Administration's Top 10 Services.
Ask the White
House-This special feature gives visitors a virtual seat in the
White House Press room. Users can submit questions directly to the
White House press office, with the five "most asked" questions answered
by the White House and posted online each week. Republican leaders
will have the opportunity to respond as well.
Checklist-After answering a few questions, users get a personalized
list of federal sites to help with important tasks such as paying
for college, caring for an older parent, or getting a passport or
Center-Users can quickly scan the latest product recalls, helping
them become more-informed consumers. Future services available on
GovernmentGuide will include information on how to find government
jobs or become a government vendor and a "Red Tape-O-Meter" that
will enable business owners to quickly find out which federal regulations
apply to their industry and to easily access those requirements.
also organizes state web sites and key offices at the state level,
such as Departments of Motor Vehicles. As more state and local governments
offer services online, America Online will expand GovernmentGuide
so that citizens eventually will be able to use this new tool to
interact with every institution of government from the smallest
city hall to the biggest federal agency. GovernmentGuide
is accessible through AOL Keyword: GovernmentGuide.
CompuServe and Netscape will also carry GovernmentGuide.
press release, 12/6/99