The White House is determined to put itself on the cyberspace map, this week launching an online briefing room that makes it easier for citizens to get at the latest official utterances and government statistics and next month beginning to test a system that will let users conduct transactions with the government over the Internet.
The White House Briefing Room was established as a clearinghouse of government information accessible around the clock, with features daily postings with press releases, remarks by the president, and schedules of White House events. The site also includes other briefing rooms for economics and social statistics, including the latest raw data on crime, inflation, unemployment, income, and demographics.
The government will begin testing the Paperless Transactions for the Public Project next month to eventually allow citizens with PCs to perform sensitive transactions over the Internet, such as exchanging tax information and social security benefits.
The project will use a set of standard security protocols and Web browser and server technology from Frontier Technologies to give beta testers secure access to government Web sites. By the fall, the pilot test will be expanded to include messaging and electronic commerce.
The Paperless Project is part of an effort launched by Vice President Al Gore in 1993 to reduce government bureaucracy.