Open Government Groups Urge Congress to Restore Funding for Transparency Efforts
by Sam Rosen-Amy, 6/13/2011
OMB Watch today released a letter, signed by more than 30 transparency and good government groups, calling for restoration of the funding for the Electronic Government Fund (E-Gov Fund). This fund supports important government websites such as USAspending.gov, the IT Dashboard, Data.gov, and Performance.gov.
The letter notes that the E-Gov Fund “has a proven track record of successful transparency projects that have delivered efficiency improvements and increased government accountability.” At the same time, the fund has more than paid for itself, with its programs resulting in the termination of $3 billion in failing technology projects.
Unfortunately, the budget deal that provided funding for fiscal year 2011, passed in April, cut the E-Gov Fund by 75 percent, from $34 million to $8 million. As a result, according to Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra, the development of new sites has been abandoned and needed upgrades to the remaining projects will be postponed.
The House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee, which has responsibility for the E-Gov Fund, is set to mark up its fiscal year 2012 bill on June 16. The signers of the letter urge the subcommittee to restore funding for the E-Gov Fund.
The letter, along with a list of the signers, can be found online at http://www.ombwatch.org/egovletter11613.
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