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SUMMARY OF A WORKSHOP ON INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH for Federal Statistics
IT innovation has been taking place throughout government, motivated by a belief that effective deployment of new technology could vastly enhance citizens' access to government information and significantly streamline current government operations. The leveraging of information technology has been a particular focus of efforts to reinvent government. For example, Vice President Gore launched the National Performance Review, later renamed the National Partnership for Reinventing Government, with the intent of making government work better and cost less. The rapid growth of the Internet and the ease of use of the World Wide Web have offered an opportunity for extending electronic access to government resources, an opportunity that has been identified and exploited by the federal statistical agencies and others. Individual agency efforts have been complemented by cross-agency initiatives such as FedStats and Access America for Seniors.14 While government agency Web pages have helped considerably in making information available, much more remains to be done to make it easy for citizens to locate and retrieve relevant, appropriate information.
Chapter 2 of this report looks at a number of research topics that emerged from the discussions at the workshop—topics that not only address the requirements of federal statistics but also are interesting research opportunities in their own right. The discussions resulted in another outcome as well: an increased recognition of the potential of interactions between government and the IT research community. Chapter 3 discusses some issues related to the nature and conduct of such interactions. The development of a comprehensive set of specific requirements or of a full, prioritized research agenda is, of course, beyond the scope of a single workshop, and this report does not presume to develop either. Nor does it aim to identify immediate solutions or ways of funding and deploying them. Rather, it examines opportunities for engaging the information technology research and federal statistics communities in research activities of mutual interest.
Access America for Seniors, a government-operated Web portal that delivers electronic information and services for senior citizens, is available online at <http:// www.seniors.gov>.