Agency contributions for e-gov projects to fall in 2007

Agencies will spend $27.7 million less on e-government programs in fiscal 2007, the Office of Management and Budget reported Thursday.

In a congressionally mandated report, OMB detailed agency spending on the 25 e-government projects and nine Line of Business initiatives down to the contributions from each agency’s bureau.

Agencies will swap $165.2 million in 2007 to support the 34 assorted projects, down from $192.9 million last year.

“Agency contributions reflect commitments of funding and/or in-kind services provided by partner agencies to initiative-managing partner agencies in support of developing, implementing and/or migrating to e-government common solutions,” OMB said in the report. “Contribution amounts are determined annually through collaborative, interagency e-government initiative governance structures and subject to approval by OMB.”

This is the second year OMB has submitted a report to Congress in an attempt to sell the e-government concept to lawmakers by showing the initiatives’ impact on agencies.

The reason the agency contributions have decreased is the increased reliance on the fee-for-service model instead of the pass-the-hat approach, which has been used since 2001. OMB reported in December that agencies will spend about $300 million on e-government services. This is up from $239 million in 2006 and $91 million in 2005.

“Initiative service providers use fees collected from partner agencies to cover ongoing operational costs, perform routine maintenance and support their customer base,” the report said.

The report also includes a breakdown of the projects each agency is participating in, the impact of the initiative on the agency and how much the agency spent on each project. OMB takes these specifics down to the bureau level.

For instance under the Budget Formulation and Execution Line of Business for the Agriculture Department, OMB said, “This initiative benefits USDA because the BFE LOB plans to make at least one [government off-the-shelf] budget formulation system available for purchase or use via a fee-for-service arrangement. USDA will be able to utilize the procurement guide that the BFE LOB plans to develop for use when an agency is beginning a budget system procurement.”

Additionally, OMB provides an update on the status and accomplishments for each of the 34 projects.

Along with the report, which OMB released at the same time as the fiscal 2008 budget request, the administration also provided a list of e-government accomplishments. OMB said 87 percent of all milestones were met in 2006, 5 percent were missed and 8 percent were moved within 2006.

It also said 25 of 27 agencies’ e-government plans were acceptable.

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