RealTime IT News

Feds to Release Latest E-Gov Plan

The Bush administration plans to release its latest strategy for implementing the E-Government Act on April 17, according to Mark Forman, associate director of information technology and e-government at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

The plan will focus on better use of enterprise licensing for purchasing software and how to more fully leverage share-in-savings contracts where agencies and contractors share the cost of a service and the contractors are paid through savings gained.

Forman said his new strategy will also include how his office will deal with the massive budget cuts proposed by Congress. the $397.4 billion omnibus spending bill before Congress includes just $5 million for the E-Gov Act. The proposed appropriation cuts by almost 90 percent the original $45 million slated for the program approved amid much fanfare last November.

The E-Gov Act seeks to make government online services and information more helpful to constituents. As administrator of the new agency, Forman 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:

  • Authorizes funding for improvement of the federal Internet portal, Firstgov.gov, so that on-line government information and services are organized "according to citizen needs, not agency jurisdiction.";
  • Requires regulatory agencies to conduct administrative rule-makings on the Internet, and federal courts to post court information and judicial opinions on their Web sites;
  • Allows agencies, scientists, policy makers and the public to have access over the Internet to non-sensitive information about where federal funds for scientific research are spent;
  • Improves recruitment and training for federal information technology professionals; and
  • Establishes "significant new privacy protections" for personally identifiable information maintained by the government.