E-Gov Measure in Committee Hearing Today

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The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs (HSGAC) is holding a committee hearing at 2:30 pm today to discuss a bill proposed by Sen. Tom Carper — and cosponsored by HSGAC chair Joe Lieberman and ranking member Susan Collins — that would create a system of accountability for federal information technology programs. (You can watch the hearing here starting at 2:30 pm) Congress Daily sums up the proposal and I’ve highlighted what might be the most important part:

A draft of the bill calls for the creation of a Web site to be updated quarterly with details about the price, schedule and performance of certain projects that annually cost $500,000 or more. Since the 2002 passage of the E-Government Act, nearly $450 billion has been spent on information technology, but many projects far exceeded cost estimates and did not perform as planned.

The bill would also require each agency’s chief information officer to create a program to improve technology acquisition, planning, project management and oversight and develop metrics for success that can be monitored in real-time.

Under the bill, OMB would prescribe guidelines for departments to follow and agency heads would be required to submit annual reports to Congress detailing Internet technology accomplishments. The proposal would create a “tiger team” of private sector, nonprofit, and federal R&D officials to oversee tech projects.

Agency information officers and technology adopters have been pushing for OMB guidance for some time. There is a strong need for guidance on how agencies can use certain Internet technologies, including social media. Also, the idea of a “tiger team” seems like a perfect way to involve those outside of government who want to help.

Below is a list of those scheduled to testify:

  • Vivek Kundra – Administrator, Office of Electronic Government and Information Technology
  • David A. Powner – Director, Information Technology Issues , U.S. Government Accountability Office
  • Karen Evans – Former Administrator, Office of Electronic Government and Information Technology, Office of Management and Budget
  • Mr. Philip Bond President, TechAmerica
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