E-gov aims to lose the 'e'

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- E-government will be entrenched everyday life when the Office of Management and Budget no longer oversees its implementation, said John Sindelar, General Services Administration deputy associate administrator for governmentwide policy.

"The goal of e-gov is to basically end breaking initiatives into the business of government, drop the 'e' from the initiatives," Sindelar said today at the annual Management of Change conference. "And once we've integrated our solution into our business lines...we won't take everything to OMB when there's a problem."

But getting there requires movement on several fronts. "We're basically reorganizing how the government works," but without a specific mandate from Congress to do so, he said. The e-Gov Act of 2002 and a number of other laws create the underpinning authority, but "in terms of how we organize to change our business processes, we're doing that on our own."

Convincing congressional appropriators to embrace cross agency service centers remains a challenge, Sindelar said. "They should be concerned about performance, not how we get it done."

Instituting a federal governance process for many intergovernmental efforts is another remaining task, Sindelar said. "We need to have OMB be the court of last resort in terms of execution, the folks that we go to for the ultimate resolution of disputes."

Service level agreements between agencies need to replace memorandums of understanding as the primary funding mechanism, and if a common service centers fails "there needs to be a funding mechanism by which the agency can migrate to [another] center of excellence," he said. But the source of that funding is still under discussion.

And while agencies also need to demonstrate the value proposition of their service centers, customers need to know upfront what their requirements are, Sindelar said. But they should not expect service centers to satisfy every last one of them, instead acknowledging the 80 percent in common functionality that they do share with other agencies, he said.

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.


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