Blueprint draws up e-gov fund

A Blueprint for New Beginning

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The Bush administration hopes to make a big push for electronic government by proposing an initial installment of $10 million in the fiscal 2002 budget toward a $100 million fund to support interagency initiatives.

The blueprint, released Wednesday by President Bush, outlines the e-government fund as a method to support projects that cross agency boundaries. That includes the FirstGov Internet portal and initiatives under the Government Paperwork Elimination Act, which requires agencies to move all possible services to the Web by 2003.

The General Services Administration will host the fund, which will grow to $100 million over the next three years. But the Office of Management and Budget will control the money, under the deputy director for management. The White House has yet to nominate anyone to that post, and the interim, OMB Director Mitchell Daniels, will develop plans for how to use the fund, an OMB official said.

The fund enhances a governmentwide push in Bush's blueprint to rely on information technology to make government more performance- and results-based. Highlights of reforms include using IT to streamline and enable back-end financial and procurement systems, and using the Internet to improve interaction with citizens.

IT programs at individual agencies also figure in the president's plan. Those programs include modernizing systems at the Internal Revenue Service to enable electronic tax filing and improve audits, and a 38 percent increase in funding for GSA-led cybersecurity initiatives.

Programs that have outlived their usefulness or have not performed as expected will be cut, Daniels warned at a budget briefing Wednesday morning.

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