Input: E-gov budget to grow

Federal spending on e-government-related initiatives will continue to grow through 2009, according to new analysis from Input.

A report released today by the market research firm projects an annual compound growth rate of 6.9 percent during the next five fiscal years, from slightly more than $4 billion in fiscal 2004 to nearly $6 billion by fiscal 2009.

The report defines e-government as any mission-oriented information system classifiable under four customer segments outlined by the Office of Management and Budget: government-to-citizen, government-to-business, government-to-government, and internal efficiency and effectiveness. That definition includes more than the 24 e-government projects OMB initiated in 2002.

The main impetus for spending growth will be agencies attempting to catch up to the goals of the President's Management Agenda, said Chris Campbell, the report's author. "That's basically where the growth is being driven from — it's just meeting their basic goals," he said.

A recent OMB report outlining major e-government goals for 2005 is a case in point, Campbell states in the report. The government document calls for at least a majority of agencies to submit acceptable information technology business cases, institute earned value management, gain certification for IT security and plug gaps in the IT workforce.

The "underlying message is that Congress is right to be concerned because agencies have failed to meet program milestones," the report states. However, with OMB pushing for agency compliance, "vendors will continue to see opportunities arise especially as skilled knowledge workers required to design and implement agency plans begin to retire," the report adds.

Projections that consolidation of IT systems through e-government will decrease federal spending should not necessarily be believed either, the report states. Money saved by shutting off redundant systems "create an opportunity to direct those resources toward new, mission-oriented initiatives," the report states.

Within the four e-government segments, the greatest growth will occur in the government-to-business segment, according to Input. The greatest amount of spending will occur in the internal efficiency and effectiveness segment, although a majority of that money will be spend on existing — rather than new — projects, the report states.

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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