Congress Plans to Slash E-Gov Funding
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Congress is proposing to dramatically slash 2003 funding for the Electronic Government Act (E-Gov). Amid much fanfare last November, Congress passed the legislation, touting a new era of government services, and President Bush signed the bill in December, requesting E-Gov funding of $45 million this year and ramping up to $150 million in by 2006.
Instead, Congress plans to gut the funding by almost 90 percent. The House already has approved spending of only $5 million on E-Gov initiatives in 2003, and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R.-Alaska) introduced an omnibus spending bill last week also calling for a $5 million budget for the legislation.
The Electronic Government Act also establishes an Office of Electronic Government, headed by a presidentially-appointed administrator within the Office of Management and Budget. The administrator will implement e-government initiatives and oversee agencies' compliance with relevant statutes. The bill also creates an E-Government Fund that will invest in inter-agency projects with government-wide application.
The new legislation also: