Government Web Sites Lead Online Transactions

Government Web Sites Lead Online Transactions

COLLEGE PARK, Md.
More Americans conducted business with a government Web site last year than paid their credit card bills or traded stocks online, according to a study released last month.
About 55 percent of adults with access to the Internet visited a government Web site last year, the National Technology Readiness Survey has reported. The survey was conducted by the Center for e-Service at the University of Maryland and Rockbridge Associates Inc., a Great Falls, Va., research company.
While 21 percent of adults accessing the Internet conducted a government transaction online, only 15 percent paid a credit card bill and 10 percent traded stocks last year, according to the survey.
“There’s a huge range of things people are doing online now — car registration, voter registration, paying fines, enrolling in schools (and) filing taxes,” Charles Colby, president of Rockbridge Associates, told The Washington Post. 
The survey, based on telephone interviews with 500 people, has tracked the attitudes and behaviors of Internet users since 1999. Government transactions were included in only the most recent study. The Center for e-Service defined “online adults” as those who have access to and use the Internet at home, at work or elsewhere. Between 42 percent and 50 percent of American households are online, government and private research organizations have reported.
“We were hearing from a lot of people that this was a growing area and talking … to companies that were spending a lot of money building businesses in this area. I was surprised to the extent that (the rate of government transactions) is as big as it is already,” Dr. Roland Rust, director of the center, told the Post.  



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