Facing off on e-gov

President Bush and Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) are not far apart on some elements of e-government. Here are some areas of comparison between Lieberman's e-government bill and President Bush's budget proposal for fiscal 2002.

TopicLiebermanBush
Federal chief information officerA CIO would head a new Office of Information Policy and report to the director of the Office of Management and Budget. Duties would be assigned to OMB deputy director for management.
E-government fund$200 million a year would be allocated to help fund cross-agency projects.$20 million would be allocated in 2002; $100 million over three years.
Citizen-centric governmentLieberman believes e-government offers an opportunity to align government interactions with customer needs rather than agency boundaries. Bush believes that providing access to information and services is only the first step in e-government. Agencies are to work together to consolidate similar functions around the needs of citizens and businesses.
PortalBuilding on the FirstGov portal would permit access to all online government information and services through a single, functionally arranged Web page.Building on the foundation of FirstGov, the federal government should create a portal to provide online information 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It should be searchable by topic rather than by agency.
Electronic signaturesAllocate $7 million to develop a "bridge" so that otherwise incompatible digital signatures can be used by various agencies.Develop digital signatures that can be accepted across agencies for secure online communications.
ProcurementChanges in the law would make it easier for agencies to use contracts that pay contractors with a portion of savings and let agencies keep some savings for additional IT expenditures.With spending on service contracts at $110 billion a year, the federal agencies should rely on performance-based contracts wherever possible. Savings could reach $8.3 billion over five years.

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