Lieberman drafts e-gov bill

Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) is working on an e-government bill that wouldcreate a strong chief information officer in the federal government andearmark $200 million a year to break down the information technology boundariesbetween agencies.

Still in draft form, Lieberman's bill would create a new federal CIOposition reporting directly to the Office of Management and Budget directorwith the power to review IT budgets throughout government, congressionalsources said Thursday.

President Bush may name a federal CIO, but the position is expectedto be at the deputy level or lower in OMB. The job, envisioned by the Liebermanbill, would have far greater resources and clout.

The draft, while likely to undergo changes before it is introduced laterthis month or in early April, also calls for shaping the government in thedigital information age, increasing citizen access through e-governmentand using technology to save money.

Joiwind Ronen, director of the Technology Leadership Consortium at theCouncil for Excellence in Government, said, "It's not about whether there'sa federal CIO or not, but about whether there is leadership to make e-governmenthappen."

The council, a private-sector group, has called for creating a $3 billione-government fund over five years.

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