Objectives and Motives of Partners
While President Clinton provided the impetus for FirstGov.gov, he was not a partner in the working sense of the word. His policy endorsement and championship of this project enabled the partnerships to occur.
Dr. Brewer, the impetus behind the search engine donation by Inktomi, said that his involvement began when he attended World Economic Forum in January of 2000. He was able to meet President Clinton at a reception held afterwards where he offered his search engine as a gift. He also told Clinton that project could be implemented within one year. Brewer, a recipient of graduate school funding for his early research in parallel computing, from the Department of Defense, saw his contribution as a way to return the favor. He considered FirstGov.gov a worthy and worthwhile project.
The U.S. General Services Administration was a key partner to the development process. They provided the wherewithal, the organizational resources, and a good number of the people to work on FirstGov.gov. The team was created to be a collateral model of the organization, one that could use the resources of the larger agency, but operate outside the rules when needed. Thus, team expertise and enthusiasm was not hampered by the red tape of bureaucracy. The then CIO at the GSA was credited with being a driving force behind the project. He was refered to as an advocate, a proselytizer, and a very visible champion for FirstGov.gov throughout the development and implementation.
The Federal Chief Information Officers Council was also a partner to this venture. They were a source of knowledge and expertise on government agencies and information technology. They also served to enable the cross- agency approach to information presentation and dissemination - a vital characteristic of the FirstGov.gov portal. Finally, they also assisted in the first year funding of the project, by literally passing the hat among 22 federal agencies to keep the project alive.
Ultimately, FirstGov.gov saw its partnerships expanding to all branches of the federal government, as well as to state and local governments. Involvement with the National Association of State CIO's was critical to getting the buy-in of the states. Other partners included the National Partnership for Reinventing Government and the Government Information Technology Services Board
Today, the Office of FirstGov sits within the General Services Administration's Office of Government-wide Policy.