THE WHITE HOUSE|
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release September 22, 2000
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
IN INTERNET WEBCAST
THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. We Americans are truly
fortunate to be living at such an exciting time. Computers and the
Internet are revolutionizing the way we work, live, relate to each other
and the rest of the world. They also have the potential to
fundamentally transform and improve the way government serves the
American people. Today I want to talk about a major step we're taking
toward that goal.
When I became President there were only 50 websites on the
entire Worldwide Web. Today there are almost 20 million. Under the
leadership of Vice President Gore, we've made great progress bringing
government into the digital age. Instead of waiting in line, citizens
can go on-line, to file their taxes, compare their Medicare options, and
find good jobs. They can tap into the latest health research, change
their address at the post office, and follow along with NASA's missions
in outer space. And they can do it 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
But with 27 million web pages of government information now
on-line, and more added every day, finding the information or service
you need can be frustrating. That's why I'm pleased to announce that
today we're launching a new, one-stop website for federal on-line
information -- firstgov.gov. It allows you, for the first time, to link
to the Federal Information Service, or service you are looking for,
without having to know the name of the agency or the program that offers
So, go to www.firstgov.gov , and you're just a few mouse clicks
away from websites where you can apply for student loans, or reserve a
camp ground in a national park.
Now, when I first announced in June we would be creating
firstgov.gov, I promised we would do so in 90 days. That was exactly 90
days ago. I am very proud of the federal employees who made this happen
in Internet time. And I'm thankful to Dr. Eric Brewer of Inktomi. He's
the entrepreneur who, with the help of federal grants, created one of
the private sector's most successful search engine technologies. Out of
gratitude and patriotism, he developed and donated the search engine for
Now this website belongs to the American people. We've
included a place for you to suggest improvements, and we're going to
keep working on this site, and on all of our government websites.
Firstgov symbolizes, I think, the kind of government we need in the 21st
century, one that empowers citizens to make the most of their own lives.
At the dawn of our republic, Thomas Jefferson said, "America's
institutions must move forward hand in hand with the progress of the
human mind." Well, today, as the progress of the human mind races
ahead, it's vital that we make sure our democratic institutions keep
pace. And if we do, we can create a more perfect, more responsive
democracy for the Information Age.
Thanks for logging on.