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Arthur Andersen to build government Net exchange

The business services firm says it is teaming with GovWorks, a government Web portal, to build an online system that will streamline transactions between government agencies and businesses.

    Business services firm Arthur Andersen today said it is teaming with GovWorks, a government Web portal, to build an online system that will streamline transactions between government agencies and businesses.

    The new online system will help businesses handle transactions such as tax payments, regulatory filings, and direct sales of products and services to the proper government agency via the Internet, the companies said in a statement. Previously, businesses had to interact with multiple levels of government agencies, including local, regional, state and federal, in order to complete a transaction, the companies said.

    A number of companies in fragmented industries have teamed with professional services firms and giant software makers to build Internet marketplaces. These online systems are an effort to streamline the transactions conducted between businesses, aiming to reduce the paperwork and cut costs involved in some of these routine transactions.

    Today's alliance marks the latest move into the heavily touted business-to-business e-commerce market by a traditional management consulting firm. Arthur Andersen's consulting arm, Andersen Consulting, recently joined its rivals Ernst & Young and KPMG in the race to nab business in the lucrative market--a sector that analysts project will surpass the trillion-dollar mark in the next three years.

    As part of the agreement, Arthur Andersen said it will work with GovWorks and other companies to develop products and services that can help smaller cities and countries benefit from the online system at a lower cost. Arthur Andersen also agreed to host and manage the back-office systems for some of the companies that will use the GovWorks site.