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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

EPA Launches Green Products Web Portal for Pollution Prevention Week

From EPA HQ:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is observing Pollution Prevention (P2) Week (September 19-25, 2011) by launching a new tool designed to provide Americans easy access to information about everyday products like home appliances, electronics and cleaning products that can save money, prevent pollution and protect people’s health. The new green products web portal is available at www.epa.gov/greenerproducts.


Using the new tool, consumers can find electronics and appliances that have earned EPA’s Energy Star label and can browse WaterSense products that help save energy and water. Additionally, consumers can find information about cleaning products that are safer for the environment and people’s health. These products bear the EPA Design for the Environment (DfE) label. The website will also help manufacturers and institutional purchasers with information on greener products.

via INFOdocket.com

Consumer Satisfaction with E-Government on the Downturn

Recent statistics released by the University of Michigan’s American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) show that consumer satisfaction with federal government websites and e-government in general have fallen in the first quarter of 2008 as compared with the final quarter of 2007. The score represents the third quarter of decline in consumer satisfaction in a row and is the lowest level of consumer satisfaction with e-government websites in three years.

There are a couple of possible factors in the decline. Consumers seem to be dissatisfied that government websites are not evolving into more than information dumps. Consumers want to see government websites that allow them to do business online, to take care of required paperwork, and to control their experiences of the website — which is something that many commercial websites allow, at least on a limited scale. So far, that is not happening with government websites as much as consumers expect.

Another factor: presidential candidates on the campaign trail are mentioning transparency in electronic government and improving citizens’ experience of e-government either minimally or not at all. Consumers aren’t getting the sense that e-government is a priority, or even a secondary interest, among any of the presidential candidates.

Consumer Action Handbook

The approach of December means that millions of Americans will soon be shopping, shipping, printing, mailing, baking, eating, traveling, and/or simply hiding at home and watching cable TV or DVDs. Whatever the case, most people will spend the last month of the year consuming a wide variety of goods and services.

Therefore, this is an excellent time to think about being a wise consumer. Two sources that can help you in this quest are the Consumer Action Handbook and the Consumer Action Website.

Both are produced by the General Services Administration’s Federal Citizen Information Center. Both provide a wealth of advice on what to consider before and after making a purchase. They also provide information about the proper way to file a complaint if the item or service you purchased was unsatisfactory, in addition to a long list of consumer contacts at major corporations.

One feature available on the website that isn’t replicated in the Handbook is the Consumer News box. This very useful little box provides links to consumer alerts and announcements from a number of different federal agencies.

To paraphrase both the Coneheads and Sergeant Esterhaus from Hill Street Blues, go forth and consume mass quantities, but hey, let’s be careful out there.

P.S. Thanks for letting me be the Blogger for November. It was fun!