Issa, Cummings, Devaney Agree: We Need E-Gov Funding
by Gavin Baker, 6/14/2011
In a hearing on federal spending transparency which just concluded, House Oversight Committee ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) entered our letter signed by more than 30 transparency groups in support of restoring the Electronic Government Fund into the hearing record. The E-Gov Fund supports important government websites such as USAspending.gov, the IT Dashboard, Data.gov, and Performance.gov.
Earl Devaney, chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, agreed that cutting projects that improve efficiency and increase government accountability is penny-wise and pound-foolish. According to Devaney, the Recovery Board's success in watchdogging the stimulus was premised on having adequate resources to do so.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the oversight committee, also expressed his frustration with the cuts to transparency and efficiency projects. Issa stated that he would have preferred to leave the E-Gov Fund at its previous level. Replying to Cummings, Issa said, "I agree with you that we need to get that money back" as part of a long-term efficiency strategy.
Ellen Miller, executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, testified at the hearing and reiterated her organization's support for restoring the E-Gov Fund. Craig Jennings, OMB Watch's director of federal fiscal policy, also testified. As he said in his written testimony, noting the billions in savings already realized by the E-Gov Fund projects, "Money spent on federal spending transparency should be seen as an investment rather than expenditure."