Set-Asides

Report: NSF needs funds

Funds that the National Science Foundation has allocated to its "Digital Government" grant program are "insufficient to support sustained research" into the topic, and the agency should find ways to augment funding for the $3 million project, according to a university-based think tank.

A report by the State University of New York at Albany-based Center for Technology in Government does not recommend how much money NSF needs, but the group said funding could be obtained through matching contributions or from other federal agencies and private foundations. The report, "Some Assembly Required: Building a Digital Government for the 21st Century," also suggested areas in which NSF should focus its research. The report is available on the Web at www.ctg.albany.edu/whatsnew/whatsmn.html#dig_gov.

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FAIR guidelines due soon

Agencies are awaiting the soon-to-be-released final guidelines from the Office of Management and Budget to comply with a law that requires agencies to submit inventories of work that could be outsourced.

Agencies need the guidelines to help them meet the June 30 deadline for submitting inventories as outlined in the Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act of 1998.

The Information Technology Association of America has said it strongly opposed OMB's proposed guidelines, which would help agencies comply with the FAIR Act by modifying the Supplemental Handbook for OMB Circular A-76. Such a move would be inadequate and would threaten to marginalize the impact of the legislation, ITAA said.

Four union leaders, however, told OMB that they believe the FAIR Act only codifies existing requirements in OMB Circular A-76. Those requirements order agencies to conduct inventories of their commercial activities and establish an internal appeals process to be used by contractors and federal employees.

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