Gore pledges to put federal services online by 2003

tshoop@govexec.com

In a campaign speech on Monday, Vice President Al Gore pledged to make nearly all of the services of the federal government accessible online by 2003 if he is elected President.

Speaking at North Carolina State University, Gore said he would "create a more responsive form of government--we might think of it as "e-government"--in which the best of government services are online and interactive, so the people have their government at their fingertips--and so they can help create solutions themselves and better take charge of their own communities and lives."

Gore said he would require all major government purchases to be made over the Internet, which he said would lead to "tens of billions of dollars" in savings. He also said government would create a new online auction site called "g-bay" to sell off equipment no longer needed by agencies.

Gore said services from comprehensive lists of available health plans to interactive maps of crime trends would be available online under his plan. He pledged to set clear goals for agencies to achieve and put performance reports online for citizens to react to.

"With your help," Gore said, "I will tear down all the barriers between the different departments and agencies of our government, and obliterate the barriers between you and the clear, understandable, responsive common sense that you have a right to expect." "The power of government should not be locked away in Washington, but put at your service--no further away than your keyboard," Gore added.

Gore spokesman Chris Lehane told the Associated Press that implementing Gore's plan would cost $100 million over the next three years, which would be paid for with budget surpluses.

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