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The Partnership

FirstGov is a unique example of a public-private partnership among the U.S. General Services Administration, the Federal Chief Information Officers Council, Vice-President Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government, the Government Information Technology Services Board, private sector information industry companies, and the Fed-Search Foundation created by Dr. Eric Brewer, Chief Scientist at Inktomi. It was Dr. Brewer's donation of the Inktomi search engine, for a three year period, which was vital in getting FirstGov.gov up and running in a very short timeframe. It is interesting to note here that this same donation was the cause of considerable angst in the software industry, which feared that when the three year donation period was over, Inktomi would have an unfair competitive advantage over other potential vendors vying for the contract. FirstGov.gov must pay for search engine services beginning August, 2003.