Jeremy Grant
Senior Executive Advisor for Identity Management
National Institute of Standards and Technology

Making Government More Effective and Efficient Online

photo of woman using websiteConstituents frequently interact with their governments online. Whether it's reserving a park campsite, paying a parking ticket, or checking a Medicare claim, there are many ways to conduct business with government. A recent study showed that 33 percent of Internet users have renewed a driver's license or auto registration, 23 percent have gotten information about or applied for government benefits, and 11 percent have applied for a recreational license, all online.1

As Phil Bond, President and CEO of TechAmerica, said, "the government is going to be a user of identity services, which it needs for online tax payment and a whole host of other online services. I think it's good to see the U.S. government setting a global model because other countries are looking at this clearly and they're looking at it in a significantly more regulatory approach."

The number of services that governments can provide online is currently limited by security and privacy concerns. The ways of interacting online today can't protect some sensitive information in the way it needs to be protected. Governments need to find innovative solutions for delivering services that cut costs while delivering value, as budgets are increasingly challenged; for example, the National Association of State Budget Officers estimates that states will likely face at least $230 billion in budget gaps by the end of 2011. In these circumstances, one solution is to find ways to more efficiently deliver services online.

The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace would provide the following key benefits to state, federal, and local governments:

  • Greater customer satisfaction: Governments will be able to provide more convenient methods of delivering services that currently have to be conducted in person, such as signing paperwork or signing up to receive state benefits.
  • Lower costs: Governments will be able to deliver services involving sensitive information at a lower cost, since in-person transactions will not be required as frequently.
  • Increased security: Improved methods of verifying identities can lead to reductions in identity theft and data breachesand raise overall consumer safety levels online.
  • Economic growth: Better online identity verification could lead to the innovation of new services in many fields, including healthcare and banking. This will encourage the development of new businesses and deliver more revenue to state and local governments.
  • Improved public safety: More secure networks and identity verification could help enhance public safety by improving coordination of first responders and other government officials during emergencies.

For government employees, there's a lot that can already be done to improve services to constituents. To learn more and stay up to date about NSTIC related efforts, visit the following websites:


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