Forman promotes e-gov resource sharing

Forman promotes e-gov resource sharing

Mark Forman, the Office of Management and Budget’s associate director for IT and e-government, has been holding face-to-face meetings with agency program managers to persuade them to share funds for OMB’s 23 approved e-government initiatives.

The meetings include his e-gov staff and OMB budget examiners. Forman said he wants to get all the meetings finished by Dec. 10, when a second round of business cases for the approved projects will be due.

“This is tough to adjudicate,” Forman said. “Sharing funds and losing control of resources is hard for agencies. We have to get them to think about how to do it. This is a learning process for everyone.”

Agencies recently were asked to share the 23 projects’ discretionary funds instead of competing for a large e-government purse. The sharing of discretionary funds pushes agencies to eliminate redundancy, making their funds go further, Forman said. The business cases already have started to trickle in, he said.

The $5 million OMB received for e-gov projects will be more of a venture capital fund for agencies than additional funding for the initiatives, Forman said.

“The question is not injecting new money into these projects, but using what we have better,” he said.

Once the meetings are complete and the business cases resubmitted, the e-gov strategy report will be forthcoming along with a redesigned FirstGov portal, most likely in January, Forman said.

For more information about interagency sharing of e-gov funds, see the Dec. 10 issue of GCN.

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