The federal government also is trying to deliver more services electronically, with Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) one of the leaders in the effort.

Davis, of Fairfax, took over in January as chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, which oversees the implementation of federal e-government legislation signed by President Bush in December.

The act authorizes about $350 million in e-government spending over four years to put more agency information and services online and make the federal government more efficient in embracing technology.

A government reform subcommittee held its first hearing a week ago, at which Davis announced that the panel would start archiving video clips of hearing testimony to make it possible to search for and view on the Web. Currently the transcripts of hearings are available only in written form and usually not immediately.

"It's our duty to find new and innovative ways to make services more user-friendly across the government," Davis said last week in a statement announcing the video archive. "The Web-experienced citizen of the 21st century is accustomed to the standard of service on commercial Web sites and will accept nothing less from government sites. Educators, students, researchers and all citizens will be able to use the Internet to follow 'their government at work' more efficiently than ever before."

-- Stephen C. Fehr