Forman: Get value from $45 billion

Although many ask whether the federal government is spending enough on information technology, the administration is going to focus on finding better ways to use the $45 billion already in place, said Mark Forman, the new head of federal IT.

"The bigger question is [this]: How do we get more value out of that $45 billion?" said Forman, the associate director for IT and e-government at the Office of Management and Budget, at the E-Gov 2001 conference in Washington, D.C., July 12.

"We don't have a significant portion of our [IT] spending tied in with a business case," Forman said.

OMB Director Mitchell Daniels Jr. created Forman's position in June to lead the development of e-government policy and to coordinate the implementation of agency-specific and governmentwide initiatives.

Forman said that during the next 18 to 24 months, he will push to bring together agencies' resources to provide similar and connected services to citizens in clear lines of business. IT and e-government are only part of the larger government reform and must not be thought of as a separate effort, but as a resource to support the overall goal of improving service to the citizen, he said.

"It's not anymore about the computers, it's not about the software," he said. "It's about measuring performance."

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