This Wednesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee will markup legislation that appropriates funding for the electronic government fund. The e-gov fund supports many of the Obama administration’s flagship transparency initiatives, including data.gov, the IT spending dashboard, and USASpending.gov, as well as initiatives like data center consolidation. The House Appropriations Committee voted in June to reduce e-gov funding from $34m to $13-16m and to restructure it by rolling it into a broader “Information and Engagement for Citizens” fund.
The House’s initially-proposed draconian cuts to the e-gov fund caused significant controversy, prompting Sunlight’s #savethedata campaign, a public letter from major organizations and notable individuals, letters from Senator Tom Carper and former federal CIO Vivek Kundra, and statements from Rep. Darrell Issa, Rep. Jose Serrano, and Sen. Joseph Lieberman.
It is unclear at this time whether the Senate will go along with the House’s proposed restructuring of the fund as well as the disproportionate reduction in its funding levels. If the cuts go forward, new federal CIO Steven Van Roekel will make to make difficult decisions about which programs to cut or kill. We’ll keep you posted.