E-gov fee-for-service deals on the rise

E-Government report

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The amount of money agencies contribute to e-government programs has declined, while the revenues generated by fees are increasing, according to an Office of Management and Budget report.

For fiscal 2007, OMB estimates agencies will chip in $156.3 million, while fees will bring in about $301 million. In fiscal 2006, agencies spent $189.2 million on the initiatives, while fee-for-service generated about $240 million, according to the report, “Expanding E-Government: Making a Difference for the American People Using Information Technology.”

Both fiscal 2007 totals are subject to Congress’ continuing resolutions for funding.

The growing contribution of fee revenues is in accord with OMB's e-government plans, but agencies fell short of many other fiscal 2006 goals, the report shows.

Only 81 percent of agencies have acceptable fiscal 2007 business cases, short of the 90 percent goal. To be acceptable, a business case must be clearly defined and aligned with the agency’s mission, with benefits outweighing the costs. Eighty-one percent is below the 84 percent achieved in the previous fiscal year. OMB set 90 percent again as its marker of success for fiscal 2007, according to the report.

Agencies with secure IT systems failed to meet the 90 percent benchmark for fiscal 2007. Only 88 percent of agencies’ IT systems are secured and accredited. However, that percentage reflects a small increase from last year when only 85 percent met the requirements, according to the report. OMB wants to meet the 90 percent mark in fiscal 2007.

Less than half of agencies — about 46 percent — are fully employing earned value management, which limits cost and schedule overruns and performance shortfalls to 10 percent for the agency’s IT portfolio. The goal was 50 percent. OMB wants 75 percent of agencies managing their IT portfolios by EVM standards in fiscal 2007, according to the report.

Agencies succeeded in filling IT workforce training and qualification gaps last year. Sixty-five percent of agencies met all gap closure milestones, and 58 percent met their IT hiring targets, according to the report. The goal will remain at 50 percent of agencies to close the identified gaps.

OMB intends to achieve real savings for taxpayers, not just "cost avoidance," according to the report.

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