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:
information and services are organized “according to citizen needs, not agency jurisdiction.”
court information and judicial opinions on their Web sites
information about where federal funds for scientific research are spent