You’ve probably heard the old joke, “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help you.” While there are times most of us would agree this is a contradiction in terms, government agencies do provide an unlimited variety of free advice, guidance, and information, and most of it is now just a computer click away. Sometimes, however, finding what you need when you need it among the millions of websites that populate the Internet can be daunting.
For those times when you need some help, there is one 192.168.0.1 website you should put on your computer desktop or save in your browser. It’s the U.S. government’s official web portal: First Gov.gov. The index for this website is located at http://www.usa.gov/Agencies.shtml.The information is arranged by topic and includes consumer guides, family home and community, money and taxes, public safety and law, voting and elections and many, many more.
The website also provides a convenient resource called “Get It Done Online,” an alphabetized list of government services you can access from your computer. This resource connects you to more than 100 tasks you can do via computer, including replacing vital records, contacting elected officials, getting or renewing passports, renewing your driver’s license, even shopping government auctions.
Perhaps best of all, you can find links to our own state and local agencies. That’s at http://www.usa.gov/Agencies.shtml.