E-gov work has room to grow

Agencies are moving forward with e-government projects, but the projects are still relatively immature, said David Walker, comptroller general of the General Accounting Office.

Walker, speaking July 11 at the E-Gov 2001 conference in Washington, D.C., said the growth is clear: Investment in e-government technology is expected to reach $6.2 billion by 2005, and more than 1,300 federal e-government initiatives are already under way.

The United States is one of the global leaders in e-government, Walker said, but many of the projects are no more advanced than simple information dissemination. Also, agency progress on implementing the Government Paperwork Elimination Act has been mixed, GAO found. "We still have a long way to go," Walker said.

Agencies will need to address five critical areas in order to be successful in e-government initiatives, Walker said:

* Disciplined management practices.

* Computer network and telecommunications infrastructures and architectures.

* Secure computing environment.

* Electronic records management.

* Human capital management.

Successful e-government must still deal with some of the challenges that have plagued IT systems in the past—inadequate attention to technical and business architecture, adherence to standards, security and people issues, Walker said.

Success will depend on leadership from groups such as Congress, the CIO Council and agencies including GAO and the Office of Management and Budget—all working together to ensure e-government efforts are done in a coordinated manner, Walker said, adding that agencies must demonstrate to Congress just how Web-based technologies are producing results.

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