The votes have been cast and the results
are in for GovExec.com's fourth annual Best Feds on the Web
competition. After sifting through dozens of nominations, the judges
picked 10 sites deemed worthy of the title Best Feds.
The winners hail from a variety of agencies and cover a range of topics
including public health, air traffic control and patents. The winners all
excelled at meeting their mission and serving their customers, proving
that federal agencies are capable of revolutionizing the way they interact
with their customers.
The Best Feds competition is based on the following criteria:
The Best Feds competition does not attempt to evaluate all federal Web
sites, but relies on sites nominated by GovExec.com users. Also,
sites recognized with previous Best Feds awards were not eligible for this
- Customer Service: Provides excellent service to the public by
having a well-designed site that includes a large amount of useful
- Business Practices: Uses the Web to improve business
practices in an individual agency or across government.
- New Technologies: Makes use of new technologies that other
federal sites should consider emulating.
The Best Feds on the Web for 2000, in no particular order, are:
National Women's Health Information
Center, (Department of Health and Human Services)
This attractive and user-friendly site contains a wealth of information
on women's health issues, from domestic violence to breastfeeding. Our
judges found that stumping the search engine on a health topic was no easy
feat. Information on women's health-related congressional legislation from
1997 to the present is also featured.
This site provides public health information on the environmental
effects of air pollution, featuring interactive ozone maps, air quality
forecasts and health advisories that help keep users in the loop about the
air they breathe. Interested in the current visibility levels in downtown
Denver or on Chicago's Michigan Avenue? No problem. The site links to
regional Webcams showing air quality in various parts of the country.
Federal Technology Service
(General Services Administration)
The clean, simple design of this site appealed to our judges, but it's
usefulness to the customers it serves is what really won them over. Users
can visit the wireless store to buy phones, pagers and other high-tech
gadgets. FTS' site also features a "Share-in Savings" section to
help contractors determine whether projects qualify for FTS'
share-in-savings program and other special contracting strategies.
Scoring major points with lively graphics, and a "Kidz Zone"
that explains methane hydrate deposits and cancer radiation treatment in
plain language, Energy's newly revamped site proves it's more than just a
pretty face. In-depth information on topics such as alternative heating
and air conditioning, and perks that include an interactive periodic table
of elements and a Q&A with a scientist convinced the judges that DOE
is serious about getting the public excited about its work. In the market
for a water heater or alternative fuel vehicle? Full information about
them is available at the site's shopper's corner.
This site is the welcome wagon for sailors, their families, and
veterans. Lifelines provides information on housing assistance, health
benefits, pay issues and relocation policies. The site also provides
dating tips for single sailors and advice on how to get along with
shipmates. An average of 2,000 people visit the site daily. Lifelines will
also soon be available on handheld computing devices.
Patent Electronic Business Center
(U.S. Patent and Trademark Office)
This new site does business 21st century-style, allowing inventors to
file patent applications electronically with the U.S. Patent and Trademark
Office. Digital certificates provide the security necessary for patent
applications, and inventors can apply for them online. Users can do patent
searches, check the status of their applications and pay fees—all with
the click of a mouse.
National Institute of
Neurological Disorders and Stroke (National Institutes of Health)
Visitors to this site will find invaluable information on neurological
disorders, ranging from Parkinson's disease to narcolepsy. It includes
entire sections devoted to funding programs and patient studies. The
site's low-key design is more practical than eye-catching, but the depth
of information—particularly on rare disorders—along with its
accessibility, make it worth the visit.
Places of the Civil Rights Movement (National Park Service)
This site tells the history of the civil rights movement, against a
backdrop of black and white photos depicting powerful images of the March
on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr. in a Birmingham, Ala. jail. Our
judges were impressed by the site's clear and comprehensive rendering of
one of the 20th century's most important movements. Click on a map of the
U.S. to view the churches, schools, homes, and neighborhoods where many
important civil rights events occurred.
Air Traffic Control
(Federal Aviation Administration)
This site bills itself as "the most comprehensive source of air
traffic control information available anywhere on the Internet," and
judging from the wealth of material on the site, GovExec.com
agreed. Designed primarily for air traffic controllers, the site provides
jobs and training information with the goal of improving quality and
safety within the air traffic community. Take a virtual flight through the
nation's hectic air traffic control system with the "Gate to
A botanist's dream, this site offers an extensive database with
everything anyone would ever want to know about the plant
kingdom—including names, identification information, species abstracts,
and crop information. PLANTS serves as ground zero for the Natural
Resources Conservation Service and the site's information is fed directly
into the Integrated Taxonomic Information System that is used by natural
resource management agencies and the Forest Service's Natural Resource
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