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FirstGov to be first stop for government forms

In a few weeks the federal Web portal Firstgov.gov will be the central location for public access to the forms needed for the government's 500 most frequently used services. Almost one year ago, President Clinton sent a memorandum to federal department heads and agency chiefs directing them to "help citizens gain one-stop access to existing government information and services," by putting the paperwork needed for the 500 most-used government services online by December 2000. "While government agencies have created 'one-stop shopping' access to information on their agency Web sites, these efforts have not uniformly been as helpful as they could be to the average citizen," Clinton said in the memo. The National Partnership for Reinventing Government, Vice President's Al Gore's reinventing government initiative, adopted the project as one of its goals this year and expects to have the information portal up before the year ends. Some of the forms citizens can access through the Web site include tax forms, social security forms and passport applications. "We're creating a centralized place to go so you can find those forms, like a search engine that would lead you to the form," an NPR official said.