Remarks of Sharon Brown-Hruska
before the Financial Literacy and Education Commission
U.S. Department of Treasury
Washington, D.C., January 13, 2005

Thank you, Secretary Abernathy, for the opportunity to address this meeting today. I would like to thank you for your support and commitment to our shared objective of improving financial literacy.

I would also like to thank the many people I see around the table, those in the audience, and others who have worked diligently to advance an effective strategy to expand financial literacy over the past year. At our last Financial Literacy and Education Commission meeting in September, we announced that the Financial Literacy and Education Commission website would launch simultaneously with the 1-888-Mymoney toll-free number on October 12th. As Chairman of the Website Subcommittee, I would like to thank Chairman JoAnn Johnson of the National Credit Union Administration for providing the venue and gracious hospitality for the launch.

During these last three months, both English and Spanish speaking consumers have been given access to, and taken advantage of, additional tools to better manage their finances – whether that entailed securing a mortgage, planning for retirement, or saving for their children’s education. This is evident by the following statistics generated since the website’s launch -- has received almost 91,000 hits on its English language site and over 3,000 hits on its Spanish language site. As a direct result of the link to the toolkit request form, over 207,000 English language publications and over 2,000 Spanish language publications have been distributed to consumers by the General Services Administration’s Federal Citizen Information Center in Pueblo, Colorado.

We have already received many positive comments from consumers about the value of the information the Commission has made available. Based on this feedback, I think we can say that the Commission’s website is a success. However, there is still work to be done.

For the next phase of this effort, the subcommittee and working groups will focus on two areas to enhance the value and usability of These areas include providing additional content and a search capability. The subcommittee’s objectives for the next phase are to:

The subcommittee plans to hold its next meeting in February to discuss further these objectives and to provide guidance to the working groups.

The subcommittee would like to thank all of the federal agencies and organizations who have placed a link on their organization’s website -- AARP, AICPA, and Citibank are just a few. I fully expect many more organizations to participate. A special thanks to the General Services Administration’s Federal Citizen Information Center for voluntarily providing the website technical support and the delivery mechanism which continues to make this website possible.

I would personally like to thank the members of the website subcommittee for their continued commitment and dedication to the success of this important initiative.

By bringing together the specialized and diverse resources of the members of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission to create the website, we have taken a major step toward achieving the Commission’s goal of fostering financial education for all Americans.