Kerry's campaign blasts Bush on e-gov

If elected, John Kerry's administration would put a greater emphasis on e-government, the Democratic senator's presidential campaign advisers said. For example, the Kerry administration would favor including state and local links on the FirstGov Web portal.

"You can't coerce states and localities to do this, but you [can] bring them together," said Paul Weinstein, chief operating officer at the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) and co-chairman of a policy team advising the Kerry campaign on government reform.

A Kerry campaign document states that the Bush administration has allowed government "to fall behind in the transformation to e-government."

Electronic governance under the Bush administration is largely symbolic, said Robert Atkinson, PPI vice president and a member of Kerry's government reform advisory committee. The evidence, he said, is in lawmakers' paltry e-government appropriations. Bush "asked for $45 million, and he doesn't get it?" Atkinson asked. "What's happening there is he

doesn't care."

Another problem with e-government in the Bush administration is a lack of institutional clout in the position of administrator of e-government and information technology at the Office and Management and Budget, he said. "It just doesn't have the juice that it needs or the support within the administration," he said.

But campaign advisers did not say whether Kerry supports the creation of a federal governmentwide chief information officer. "We haven't stated a position on that.... We're still working on getting out a paper," Weinstein said.

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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