The Circuit

The Lowdown on E-spending

The Industry Advisory Council has a plan for how to spend the $100 million e-government fund the Bush administration is creating. The council told the Office of Management and Budget that the fund should be boosted with contributions from government agencies and industry. Agencies that contribute money or partner with industry would be given priority for e-government initiative funding.

"Only projects that employ multiple agencies or jurisdictions could even see part of this money," said Mitzi Mead, director of federal business development at Mercury Interactive Corp. and co-chairwoman of the IAC committee on the fund. She outlined the proposals at the recent E-Gov 2001 conference in Washington, D.C.

Goldsmith Goes Private

Maybe it was the money (not enough). Or the hours (too many). Or maybe things never really clicked for him at the White House. But former Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, who advised President Bush on information technology, has taken a job as senior vice president of Lockheed Martin IMS, which provides technology-based services to state and local governments.

That's the same Lockheed Martin unit being sold to Affiliated Computer Services Inc. for $825 million in cash, as announced July 19.

Goldsmith was an early adviser to Bush's 2000 campaign and served as an adviser on IT and faith-based initiatives in the first months of the Bush administration. He took himself out of the running for U.S. postmaster general in May.

Burden of Proof

It's no surprise that many in industry are champing at the bit to see agencies' inventories of which functions are considered inherently governmental. The companies want to argue that many of those functions could, in fact, be performed by the private sector. Mitchell Daniels Jr., director of the Office of Management and Budget, is on industry's side.

The Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act of 1998 requires agencies to list the functions they believe could be outsourced. For this year's inventories, which were due to OMB June 30, Deputy Director Sean O'Keefe told agencies to provide a separate report listing inherently governmental positions. OMB plans to use this list to improve its review of agencies' inventories, especially those that "need a little work" like the Environmental Protection Agency, which listed only 4 percent of its jobs as available for outsourcing in fiscal 2000.

Although those lists will not be made available outside OMB, Daniels stated his own personal "bias toward openness."

"The burden of proof should be on the side that wants to withhold information from the public," he told a happy group of listeners at the Contract Services Association of America last week.

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