We Want You ... To Pay Online

The government is going high-tech.

The Clinton administration plans to launch a new electronic pay system this fall that will allow Americans to make a wide variety of payments to the government online. The system, dubbed Pay.gov, will accept payments for everything from camping licenses for a national park to corporations paying fines.

The site "will be a one-stop shop for people to make government payments using the Internet," Treasury Secretary Stuart Eizenstat said, announcing the initiative Tuesday.

A check Tuesday by CBSNews.com found only a "coming soon" notice at the site.

The new site will allow Americans to conduct a number of transactions over the Internet around the clock, including paying government fees, fines and certain taxes; making payments on loans and leases; making donations; and obtaining certain forms and documents.

Capable of processing any of the 80 million federal transactions currently handled, the secure system will cut collection costs and eliminate paper processing at Treasury and other government agencies, Eizenstat said.

"Putting government online helps free up tax revenues for other needs by allowing the public sector to enjoy the same kinds of reduced costs and increased efficiency that the Internet has brought to the private sector," he added.

Eizenstat also unveiled another online initiative called SLGSafe, which will be a secure e-commerce site serving state and local governments which buy Treasury's State and Local Government Securities.

The site will allow state and local governments, as well as the banks which act for them, to subscribe and redeem securities online, make changes to their portfolio and review financial reports.

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