House staffer defends e-gov funding

A House subcommittee staff director accused congressional appropriators today of being shortsighted in their determination to cut e-government funds in agency budget requests.

Speaking at a luncheon sponsored by the information technology Industry Advisory Council, Robert Dix said language in several appropriations bills "sends the wrong message" because it blocks funds for e-government initiatives. The language, he said, is of great concern to members of the House Government Reform Committee's Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census Subcommittee and its chairman, Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.).

The response of Putnam's subcommittee, Dix said, will be to increase its efforts in the coming weeks to try to convert the e-government nonbelievers and to convince the appropriations committees of the long-term value of e-government initiatives.

The House appropriations bill for the Interior Department, for example, which passed this week, blocks funds for four e-government programs and criticizes the programs' promoters as "lacking a well thought-out and reasonable approach to addressing requirements. "

E-government funds also appear to be endangered in other House appropriations bills.

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