OMB to e-gov partners: Show us the money you need

OMB to e-gov partners: Show us the money you need

The Office of Management and Budget is asking the agencies managing the 24 e-government initiatives to detail their resources needs so OMB can use its authority under the Clinger-Cohen Act to better allocate funding.

Mark Forman, OMB associate director for IT and e-government, last week sent a memo to project leaders outlining the plan. He said the estimates should include money, personnel resources and in-kind contribution requirements, such as hardware and software, for each initiative. A plan on how agencies will share redundant resources will be in place by the end of next month, Forman added.

“The CIOs agreed we had to get funding and resource decisions made by the end of June,” Forman said. “We are going to pull all the data together and will work with agencies to share resources through a memorandum of understanding or through Clinger-Cohen authorities.”

The Online Rule-making initiative is the first project that will combine redundant resources. OMB director Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. sent a memo May 3 to agency heads evoking Clinger-Cohen authorities to consolidate rule-making systems.

The Transportation Department, which is managing Online Rule-making, will redo the project’s business case to include a technical assessment of the disparate systems it will consolidate. Forman said the business case is due by mid-July.

Meanwhile, OMB will review agencies’ 2003 budget requests to identify duplicate technology investments and redistribute resources to the appropriate e-government projects.

Daniels said agencies this year will spend $28 million on online rule-making systems and an estimated $32 million next year.

OMB set a Dec. 31deadline for the creation of a front end for a new online rule-making system, but Forman said the new Web site would be up well before the deadline.

Forman said the reasons for forcing the consolidation of systems were many. He said a combination of a lack of cooperation and a need for speed in delivering services played a big role. Plus, the Online Rule-making team requested “strong definitive guidance from OMB,” he added.

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