The Government Accountability Office concluded that major projects funded through the E-Gov Fund “could potentially lead to benefits including cost savings and efficiency, customer service transparency, and governmentwide collaboration and information sharing.” The report [PDF], released last Friday, focused on four of the sixteen projects supported by E-Gov in FY 2010, two of which were subsequently eliminated because of budget cuts in FY 2011. The E-Gov Fund supports projects that expand the government’s abilities to carry out its activities electronically.
The report generally recommended that some programs incorporate additional performance metrics, a recommendation that GSA, which administers the E-Gov Fund, endorsed. It also noted that the two eliminated programs, the Citizen Services Dashboard and FedSpace, had respectively taken “significant steps” and made “progress” towards meeting their goals; the Dashboard had a pilot up and running with four agencies and FedSpace had released a beta version that had 500 users. A list of programs funded by E-Gov is available below (as identified in the report). Funding declined precipitously from $34 million in FY 2009 and 2010 to $8 million in 2011, resulting in the termination of these programs and the suspension of development in many others.
While this funding cut was widely considered to be short-term, recent developments suggest the cuts may persist, freezing programs at current levels and preventing any improvements or new initiatives. While the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee endorsed restoring funding up to $15.8 million earlier this year, the Senate Appropriations Committee recently approved a further cut to $7.4 million. In addition, the E-Gov Fund was combined with another fund, raising the risk that its unique role in fostering a specific type of governmentwide technological innovation could evaporate.
In the following video, David McClure, the GSA Citizens Services Associate Administrator, briefly discussed the cuts to E-Gov when he testified before the House on September 21, 2011. He notes that “when anyone gets less money than requested, something’s got to give.”
Amount (in millions)
|FedRAMP (Security for Cloud Computing)||1.91|
|E-mail as a Service||0.50|
|SAJACC (Standards Acceleration to Jumpstart the Adoption of Cloud Computing)||1.00|
|Data center inventory and consolidation planning||0.88|
|Payment Information Repository Proof of Concept||1.35|
|Invoicing Standards Pilot||0.15|
|Data.gov (innovative functionality)||2.50|
|Citizen Engagement Platform||1.51|
|Citizen Challenge Platform||1.00|
|Citizen Services Dashboard||5.00|
|USASpending.gov and dashboards||9.50|
|Data.gov (basic functionality)||3.00|
|Project Management Best Practices||1.50|