GSA performance to affect budget

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The General Services Administration is tying its budget to its overall performance improvement processes, officials said today at the agency's budget briefing.

The agency gets only a fraction of its overall budget through congressional appropriations. In the fiscal 2005 proposal, the Bush administration is requesting $24.3 billion for GSA, of which only $218 million would come from appropriations. Most of the agency's funds come from its own operations, including fees that agencies pay to use its procurement services, and rent that GSA collects through its Public Buildings Service.

As 2004 unfolds, the agency is measuring its governmentwide policy progress by several standards, including:

* Number of agencies using Federal Identity Credentialing policy standards. The standards, still under development, allow governmentwide acceptance of identification cards issued by any agency. Five agencies use the standards now, said Mary Mitchell, deputy associate administrator of GSA's Office of Electronic Government and Technology. GSA wants to see eight agencies on board by the end of 2004 and 10 by the end of 2005, she said.

* Number of e-government initiatives meeting standards for e-authentication credentialing. Currently none of the official e-government initiatives do, Mitchell said.

* Number of agencies adopting the FirstGov common content model, also still under development. When done, the model will provide agreed-upon formats for the look and feel of government Web pages, said Casey Coleman, deputy associate administrator of GSA's Office of Citizen Services and Communications.

The agency's budget request includes:

* $4.6 million toward establishing standards for identity management or electronic authentication.

* $17.3 million to enhance the FirstGov site with greater security. GSA is setting up partitions within the system to keep applications and data sets separated behind the firewall, Coleman said.

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