Let's Do E-Mail

Government organizations consider electronic mail to be the most cost-effective method of communication, a recent survey found.

The survey, conducted by the General Services Administration's Electronic Messaging Program Management Office, asked 223 state and federal organizations to rank various communication methods in order from least to most cost-effective. Eighty-two organizations responded, ranking e-mail as the best value, followed by fax messages, voice mail, telephone communication, the World Wide Web, face-to-face meetings, paper-based mail, and video teleconferencing.

However, 88 percent of respondents said their communication costs had risen since introducing e-mail to their agencies, indicating that e-mail supplements other forms of communication rather than replacing them.

E-mail has certainly taken its toll on paper-based mail. Thirty-three percent of respondents said they had seen a large decrease in their use of "snail mail."

The survey also found that large federal agencies give e-mail access to 58 percent of their employees and small agencies give e-mail access to 89 percent of employees.

All responding agencies reported that communication within their organizations had increased. All of them also reported more communication with other agencies through e-mail.

World Wide Web usage is considered important, though only 41 percent of agencies reported that Web access was "widely available." But 83 percent of agencies say they expect widespread access within two years.

Eighty percent of federal agencies have developed policies governing usage of the World Wide Web, while 95 percent of large federal agencies and 79 percent of small agencies have developed e-mail policies.

The Air Force is issuing a new policy later this year defining proper use of e-mail on government time.

"If used properly, e-mail is a superb tool to complement and improve our communications," says Lt. Col Frank McGovern, chief of Air Force communications and information policy at the Pentagon. "However, just like other forms of communication, such as the telephone or correspondence, there is a potential for abuse."

GSA's e-mail office provides support to agencies setting up email systems and also coordinates governmentwide standards for the technology.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.