GPEA updates to go through Internet

OMB is calling on agencies to provide updates about moving services to the Web

Progress Report on Implementing the Government Paperwork Act

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GPEA database

The Office of Management and Budget is calling on agencies to provide updates about moving services to the Web and is providing a way for agencies to submit the information via a secure online application on the CIO Council's Web site.

Under the 1998 Government Paperwork Elimination Act, federal agencies must make their services available electronically whenever possible by October 2003. Last year, under OMB's lead, the CIO Council and the General Services Administration's Office of Governmentwide Policy made a database available of all agency GPEA initiatives.

A new memo explains what information agencies must provide by Oct. 22 to update that database to reflect the past year's activities. The instructions include changes calling for GPEA plans to conform to the e-government strategy in President Bush's management agenda.

OMB also is asking for more specific information in agencies' strategy reports, including areas where progress is being made, how that progress is tied to general e-government efforts, and where problems are appearing. "This year, we're looking at whether [agencies] are moving past just putting transactions online and making them transformational," said Mark Forman, OMB's associate director of information technology and e-government.

Agencies will provide their strategy reports to OMB via e-mail. And OMB has worked with GSA to develop a Web-based application that will enable agencies to make changes to their existing plans rather than submit entirely new documents. GSA will provide the secure log-on information to each agency, following the guidelines outlined in the memo. In June, OMB Director Mitchell Daniels Jr. told lawmakers that only 45 percent of agencies are expected to meet the October 2003 deadline. And of the remaining 55 percent, only half have a "reasonable" argument for not meeting the deadline, Daniels testified before the House Government Reform Committee.

In a Sept. 28 report for Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, the General Accounting Office said the improved reporting requirements in the memo are "a positive step," because the current database does not provide OMB with enough information to effectively oversee agencies' GPEA implementation.

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