OMB releases e-gov fund guidance

OMB E-Gov site

The Office of Management and Budget released new guidance this week outlining the process for agencies to request money from the central e-government fund.

The E-Government Act of 2002 authorizes $345 million over four years to supply a central fund for cross-agency initiatives. It further required OMB to develop a standard process for accepting and reviewing agency proposals to use the fund.

The fund is held by the General Services Administration, but is administered by OMB.

The final process includes the following steps:

* OMB will conduct a review of the proposal based on the criteria outlined in the E-Gov Act, such as whether the proposed project would affect and be supported by multiple agencies.

* The director of OMB will grant or decline approval for the project.

* The administrator of GSA will send a letter providing 15 days advance notice to the House and Senate appropriations committees, the government oversight committees and the appropriate authorizing committees.

* Following the 15-day waiting period, OMB and GSA will determine the next steps for transferring the money.

* The money will be transferred.

For fiscal 2003, Congress appropriated $5 million for the e-government fund, significantly below the $45 million requested in the president's budget and also below the $45 million authorized for the year in the E-Gov Act. That annual authorization amount increases to $150 million in fiscal 2006.

Mark Forman, administrator of the OMB Office of E-Government and Information Technology, has cited the lack of full appropriations for the fund as a reason that e-government will not be able to move forward as quickly as officials hoped.

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