“No project will go unaffected,” said federal CIO Vivek Kundra in a letter on the e-gov funding cuts sent to Senator Carper released earlier today. Referring to the effects of reducing the e-government fund from $34m in FY2010 to $8m in FY2011, Kundra added that “while we believe that we can make progress on several important initiatives, several projects will experience a sharp decline given the limited amount of funding.”
For the first time, Mr. Kundra explained in broad strokes the consequences of the dramatic funding decrease.
“We will maintain important initiatives such as USAspending.gov, the IT Dashboard, Data.gov and Perfomance.gov at their current levels of operation. As a result of the reduced funding, there will be no enhancements or other development to address needs for improvement.”
Data quality may suffer.
“While we will continue to work with agencies to improve the quality of data on the IT Dashboard and USASpending, we will not be able to fund development efforts to improve data accuracy through automation and streamlining, nor will funds be available to increase transparency. For example, we have postponed plans for IT Dashboard enhancements that would have allowed better integration with agency systems for investment monitoring.”
New data will be harder to come by.
“Limited funding will increase delays in getting new datasets posted to Data.gov, and will limit our ability to stand up new communities of interest on that platform. Further, the reduced level of appropriations will impact the ongoing implementation of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA). For example, there will be a marked reduction in technical support provided to the contractor and grantee communities who enter data on Federal spending into the FFATA portal.”
And two programs, FedSpace and the Citizen Services Dashboard, are being terminated.
Appropriators are in the process of considering the appropriate funding amount for the e-gov fund for FY2012. On the House side, they are expected to mark-up legislation near the middle of next month.
Senator Carper, who asked Kundra for more information about the e-gov cuts a little more than a month ago, said today in a press release that he appreciated Kundra’s response, adding that “these websites are an important resource and a critical part of the effort to make the government more open and transparent, while at the same time, cutting wasteful and duplicative spending throughout federal agencies.”
We will keep you updated.