Report calls for e-gov fund

To speed up the pace of electronic government, Congress and the administration

should establish a $500 million annual digital government fund, according

to a report drafted by the Democratic Leadership Council's Progressive Policy

Institute.

The account would provide a pool of money to fund federal cross-agency

e-government initiatives, according to a draft of the PPI report scheduled

for release today by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), Rep. Jim Turner (D-Texas)

and others. Agencies should be required to match these funds, the report

said.

The report also recommends:

* Appointing a federal chief information officer who would report directly

to the president and oversee a digital government plan.

* Allowing agencies to keep any savings that result from digital government

projects to fund future projects. Normally, agencies would have to return

such savings to the Treasury Department.

* Expanding funding for agencies to develop new digital applications.

The report also noted that Congress and the administration have not

done enough to encourage the growth of digital government. It cited at least

four factors that have hindered progress:

* Lack of top-level agency and governmentwide leadership.

* Lack of funding and flexibility to implement e-government projects.

* Prevalence of a traditional "agency-centric" approach.

* Lack of pressure for change.

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