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By Mar-Vic Cagurangan

SAIPAN, CNMI (Mariana Variety, Jan. 4) - Slipping out of work at lunchtime and standing in line at a government agency may soon become a thing of the past as most government transactions can now be done through the fingertips.

One just sits in comfort and logs on to, the government of Guam’s one-stop online service center, where tax filing, car registration and payments of other public obligations, can be accomplished in a flash.

Governor Felix P. Camacho yesterday launched the Government of Guam’s portal, the official website of Guam, which provides links to all GovGuam agencies and other websites containing a host of information that makes the island one click away from the rest of the world.

"The GovGuam Portal is a key component of our e-government initiative, that is transforming government operations and improving our culture of service to one that is accessible and up-to-date with technology," Camacho said at a press conference in Adelup. "We continue to develop better ways for people to get what they need, when they need it."

He said links to various Guam websites such as those of the military, the business community and the arts society "bring information closer to the rest of the world."

The portal’s main sites provide links to other websites that feature information about tourism, resident services, business, Guam history and culture. It also provides links to the Navy and Andersen Air Force Base and other websites tailored to military personnel who will relocate to Guam.

"This website will be very useful as the Marines prepare to relocate here and as we prepare to integrate them into our society," Camacho said.

Jim Lacson, director of the Bureau of Information Technology, said GovGuam has rolled out a number of online services over the past 14 months, and will launch more in the future.

"The basic premise of the e-government initiative is to improve the delivery of government services via the use of technology," Lacson said at the press conference.

He said the GovGuam Portal is linked to the US Department of Homeland Security, giving Guam real-time advisory and updates on security alerts.

The portal becomes an emergency portal during times of emergency where the government will provide timely information to residents, families off island and local and federal agencies in conjunction with the Office of Civil Defense. The governor’s office said emergency announcements and notices will be posted on the website

The e-government initiatives were in compliance with Public Law 28-57, also known as the Transparency Act of 2005, which requires all GovGuam agencies to maintain individual websites carrying information about their services, official businesses, operations and financial records.

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