Bush Signs e-Government Act
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President George W. Bush this morning signed the Electronic Government Act of 2002, a bill that earmarks $345 million over the next four years for federal technology projects, according to the White House Press Office.
The measure, which was passed by Congress last month, establishes an e-Government Fund that starts at $45 million in 2003 and ramps up to $150 million in 2006.
A new agency, the Office of Electronic Government, will oversee the account, placing a priority on inter-agency projects with government-wide applications. It will be lead by a presidential appointee and operate under the auspices of the Office of Management and Budget.
The legislation was first introduced by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D.Conn.) and Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.). It passed the Senate by unanimous consent, but changes made in the House version, including reducing the overall funding levels, produced a compromise version.
In announcing the proposal, Lieberman laid out the problem with Washington's current approach: "At this early stage, e-government is a loose knit mix of ideas, projects, and affiliations -- often uncoordinated, sometimes overlapping, and too frequently redundant in their costs," he said.
Other provisions of the bill include:
The new legislation also: