Data.gov to Remain a Top Priority

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Major open government initiatives, namely Data.gov, Performance.gov, and USAspending.gov, are likely to remain top priorities for the E-Government fund, according to David McClure, as quoted in Federal Computer Week.

“These types of programs, I think, have permanence,” said David McClure, associate administrator at the General Services Administration’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies.

The E-Gov Fund supports such projects, which “could potentially lead to benefits including cost savings and efficiency, customer service transparency, and governmentwide collaboration and information sharing,” according to a recent Government Accountability report [PDF]. Daniel discussed the report recommendations last week.

The fund has faced serious budget cuts from both the House and the Senate. The House initially proposed cutting the fund from the $34 million allocated in FY2010 to $2 million in FY2011, prompting activism efforts including Sunlight’s Save the Data campaign. Congressional gridlock kept the fund operating at FY2010 levels. The House then voted in June to reduce the fund to $13 million for FY2012 and restructure it into a broader “Information and Engagement for Citizens” fund. A few weeks ago the Senate voted to decrease the fund by an additional $11 million below House levels.

While it is unclear at what level funding will ultimately be set, it is evident that it is likely to be much less than it was before. Open government initiatives will be facing tough competition for funding, as former Federal CIO Vivek Kundra outlined in a letter to Sen. Tom Carper.

We are glad to see GSA speaking out in support of maintaining funding for such projects.

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