OMB’s E-Strategy report signals start of <br>E-Government Act of 2002

OMB’s E-Strategy report signals start of E-Government Act of 2002

Mark Forman today officially became the administrator for the Office of E-Government and IT within the Office of Management and Budget.

While his job description hardly changes, Forman’s new title and the creation of the office marks the beginning of the administration’s implementation of the E-Government Act of 2002. President Bush signed the bill into law last December.

Forman today also announced the release of the second E-Government Strategy, which updates the progress of the 25 Quicksilver initiatives and agency improvements to cybersecurity. It also builds on the IT information OMB submitted with the fiscal 2004 budget request.

“When my job was created, the listing of responsibilities was crafted from a [General Accounting Office] report on the best practices of a CIO, and most of those still are true,” Forman said today in a conference call with reporters. “There are some additional responsibilities and accountabilities that have to do to with outreach that is unique to government, but mostly my position is the same.”

The law requires Forman’s office to work with state, local, and tribal governments, as well as the general public and the private and nonprofit sectors, to find ways to improve government performance in collaborating on the use of IT.

“For us, the creation of the office is the highlight to the President’s Management Agenda, especially the expanding e-government initiative,” Forman said. “It is important for the citizen that there is some organizational focus on IT spending and on productivity to make sure the government is responsive to the citizenry. The E-Government Act not only locks this into statute, but makes sure this initiative will last into the next administration and beyond.”

The strategy, which OMB posted at, offers specific dates and measures for each of the 25 Quicksilver initiatives, Forman said. OMB outlined the progress to date and the upcoming milestones, including approximate completion dates.

For example, by Oct. 31,, which provides information on government-owned recreational sites, will have a new online, cross-government reservation system.

In addition, the National Park Service’s agency-specific reservation system will be deactivated. By July, agencies with legacy systems that allow citizens to participate in the federal rule-making process will begin migrating those systems to the cross-agency initiative

“Last year when we put together the strategy, we reconciled that we would go to joint [IT] solutions, but we now know that is not enough,” he said. “We know now we have to turn off agency-unique solutions and migrate to the joint solution.”

Forman added that the strategy does not identify specific agency systems that will be turned off. It only describes what types of systems will be closed down.

The strategy sets objectives for agencies:

  • Focus IT spending on high-priority modernization projects

  • Keep most projects within 10 percent of their cost, schedule and performance objectives

  • Have IT systems certified, accredited or otherwise authorized as secure

  • Produce benefits to citizens in e-government projects, such as improved response time or burden reduction. Agencies also should receive benefits, such as reduced costs and improved services.

  • Consolidate IT spending and define governmentwide solutions along six lines of business: criminal investigations, data and statistics, financial management, human resources, monetary benefits and public health monitoring.

  • OMB is also to negotiate governmentwide enterprise software licenses.

    OMB’s E-Government Act implementation plan also figures prominently in the strategy. The office detailed the action item and completion date, for example, establishing an interagency commission on government information by next month and creating standards for agency Web sites by April 2005.

    PostNewsweek Tech Media Staff Writer Gail Repsher Emery contributed to this story.

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