National Partnership for Reinventing Government


CONTACT: Sue Blumenthal (202) 694-0087

FOR RELEASE: July 27, 2000

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- One of thousands of interactive kiosks that will give under-served communities throughout the country free, one-touch access to local, state and federal government services was unveiled today at a Safeway grocery store in Northeast Washington.

Through a partnership with the U.S. General Services Administration, the National Partnership for Reinventing Government and private firms Urban Cool and GS Planet, interactive kiosks are being placed in shopping malls, grocery stores and at public transit centers in areas where there are few home computers or limited Internet access.

"We want to deliver government services how and when people need them," said Morley Winograd, director of the national partnership. "The kiosks are being placed where people live and shop so that getting forms or information from city hall is as convenient as shopping for groceries."

The interactive kiosks provide more than 150 federal, state, county and city government services in a touch-screen format. To make the kiosks user-friendly, information is sorted by topics, including auctions, citizenship, driver license, elected officials, events, small business, taxes and voter registration.

The Urban Cool Network will be placing more than 3200 kiosks in shopping malls in urban areas where there are few home computers or limited Internet access. GS Planet is placing thousands of kiosks in public transit centers such as train and bus stations. Both companies are providing the government links at no cost to the American public.

Several federal agencies also have linked their kiosks into the system, including the departments of housing and urban development and agriculture. An Immigration and Naturalization Service kiosk set up at a large grocery store in East Dallas logged more than 22,000 screen contacts in its first month of operation.

The kiosks are part of the national partnership's Hassle-Free Communities initiative, which works for seamless government service, eliminating barriers between local, state and federal government. The National Partnership for Reinventing Government is an interagency task force that looks for ways to make government work better and cost less.

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