Briefs

OMB: Identify e-gov leaders

Office of Management and Budget Director Mitchell Daniels Jr. sent a memo to agency heads this month asking them to identify a "senior e-government leader" to help develop the road map for President Bush's vision of e-government.

The leaders will be part of a new inter.agency task force led by Mark Forman, the new OMB associate director for information technology and e-government. The person must be someone who reports directly to the agency head.

"The task force will be successful only if it comprises individuals knowledgeable in their agency programs and experienced in government reform initiatives," Daniels wrote.

Starting this month, the task force will work for five to six weeks to identify high-payoff e-government opportunities that will push agencies toward citizen- centered services.

The president's agenda focuses on improving service in four categories:

* Individuals, through the development of one-stop Web portals.

* Businesses, by using the Internet for transactions and consolidating reporting requirements.

* Intergovernmental, through simplifying reporting of performance on grants programs.

* Internal, by using commercial best practices to improve efficiency.

GAO asked to assess staffing

The General Accounting Office may get the money it needs to hire enough people to fully focus on critical review areas, but only if the agency satisfies Senate concerns that the jobs could not be better performed by the private sector.

The Senate Appropriations Committee plans to raise GAO's funding in fiscal 2002 by more than $35 million—a 9 percent increase over the current year but less than President Bush's request.

Most of that money will go to bringing staffing levels to the agency's ceiling of 3,275 full-time employees for the first time in two years, including more em.ployees in areas such as computer security, according to the committee's July 12 report.

However, committee members expressed concern "that GAO has not conducted a full assessment of its human capital needs." They want a full assessment with recommendations on the optimal staffing level for 2002 and future years, "including full consideration of activities which appropriately should be contracted out."

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