This document was downloaded and archived from the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents at: http://frwebgate4.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate.cgi?WAISdocID=047292953+17+2+0&WAISaction=retrieve on May 18, 2001.
[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]
From the 2000 Presidential Documents Online via GPO Access [frwais.access.gpo.gov]
Monday, July 3, 2000
Week ending Friday, June 30, 2000
The President's Internet Webcast
June 24, 2000
morning. Here in America, a revolution in technology is underway. It is more
than a time of innovation; it's a time of fundamental transformation, the kind
that happens, at most, every hundred years. Today, in my first Saturday webcast,
I'd like to speak to you about how we can seize the potential of this
information revolution to widen the circle of our democracy and make our
Government much more responsive to the needs of our citizens.
in our history, people often had only one option when they needed the help of
the National Government. They had to visit a Government office and stand in
line. Indeed, as Vice President Gore has pointed out, after the Civil War the
only way our veterans could collect their pensions was by traveling all the way
to Washington, DC, and waiting for a clerk to dig out their war records. Those
war records were actually bound in red tape. That gave rise to the universal
symbol of bureaucratic delay that has existed down to the present day.
things have gotten a lot easier for citizens over the years. In recent years,
advances in computing and information technology have led to remarkable gains.
Under the leadership of Vice President Gore, we have greatly expanded the spread
of information technology throughout the Government, cutting reams of redtape,
putting vast resources at the fingertips of all of our citizens. Citizens now
are using Government websites to file their taxes, compare their Medicare
options, apply for student loans, and find good jobs. They're tapping into the
latest health research and browsing vast collections in the Library of Congress
and following along with NASA's missions in outer space. This is just the
I'm pleased to announce several major steps in our efforts to go forward in
creating a high-speed, high-tech, user-friendly Government. First, we're going
to give our citizens a single, customer-focused website where they can find
every on-line resource offered by the Federal Government.
new website, FirstGov.gov, will be created at no cost to the Government by a
team led by Eric Brewer, who developed one of the most successful Internet
search technologies with the help of Government grants. In the spirit of cutting
through redtape, this new website will be created in 90 days or less. It will
uphold the highest standards for protecting the privacy of its users.
it's complete, FirstGov will serve as a single point of entry to one of the
largest, perhaps the most useful collection of webpages in the entire world.
Whether you want crucial information in starting a small business or you want to
track your Social Security benefits, you can do it all in one place, 24 hours a
day, 7 days a week.
now that we're poised to create one-stop shopping for Government services, we'll
also greatly expand the scope of those services. Increasingly, we'll give our
citizens not only the ability to send and receive information but also to
conduct sophisticated transactions on-line.
example, this year the Federal Government will award about $300 billion in
grants and buy $200 billion in goods and services. Over the coming year, we will
make it possible for people to go on-line and compete for these grants and
contracts through a simplified electronic process. Moving this enormous volume
of business on-line will save a great deal of money and time for our taxpayers.
It will also expand opportunities for community groups, small businesses, and citizens
who never before have had a chance to show what they can do.
in conjunction with the nonprofit Council for Excellence in Government, we're
launching a major competition to spur new innovative ideas for how Government
can serve and connect with our citizens electronically. The Council will award
up to $50,000 to those students, researchers, private sector workers, or
Government employees who present the most creative ideas.
the early years of our Republic, Thomas Jefferson said, ``America's institutions
must move forward hand in hand with the progress of the human mind.'' Well,
today, the progress of the human mind is certainly racing forward at breakneck
speed. If we work together, we can ensure that our democratic institutions keep
pace. With your help, we can build a more perfect, more responsive democracy for
the information age.
The President's webcast was recorded at 3:15 p.m. on June 23 at a private
residence in Los Angeles, CA, for broadcast at 10 a.m. on June 24. In his
remarks, he referred to Eric Brewer, cofounder, Inktomi. The transcript was made
available by the Office of the Press Secretary on June 23 but was embargoed for
release until the broadcast.
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