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GAO Report Describes Cost, Scope of Online Government

From The Post
The Costs Of Online Government, June 18, 1997.
A June 1997 report from the General Accounting Office provides a treasure-trove of information about the cost and the scope of online resources made available by the executive branch of the federal government.

It also includes a list of 4,300 federal Web sites. (See below.)

The report, reproduced here on, contains several useful sections. Read the introduction, the results in brief, background on the Internet and electronic bulletin boards, and a table showing estimated expenditures by agency for 1994-96.

See the overviews of employee internet access and Internet activity guidance for federal employees. The report also provides a few examples of the potential for misuse of Internet access.

The full table of contents and text are also available here.

Web Sites Reported by Federal Organizations

This list of 4,300 Web sites is, in most cases, exhaustive. But keep in mind that the information was self-reported. Some agencies reported literally hundreds of "sites" that consist of little more than a lightly customized page. Other agencies went to the other extreme. Housing and Urban Development -- an enormous swatch of bureaucracy, online and off -- reported only one. The Department of State did not participate at all.

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