Senators introduce E-Government Act extension

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), author of the E-Government Act of 2002, introduced the bill’s reauthorization act Nov. 7.

Along with co-sponsors Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Tom Carper (D-Del.), Lieberman wants to extend nine provisions in P.L. 107-347 from this year to 2012. The provisions Lieberman is focusing on include the authorization of the E-Government Fund, the Information Technology Exchange Program and the Computer Standards Program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He also would continue to authorize $15 million for the General Services Administration to run USA.gov and appropriations for geographic information systems protocols development.


I have long worked to make government information and services more readily accessible to the public while improving privacy and information security, and the passage of the E-Government Act in 2002 has resulted in important strides in all of these areas,” Lieberman said. “This legislation will build on that progress.”


The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which Lieberman leads, will mark up the bill Nov. 14 along with the Senate’s version of the inspector general reform act and the telework enhancement act.


"I look forward to its swift passage through the Senate," Lieberman added.


There is no House companion for the E-Government Reauthorization Act, S. 2321.

President Bush signed the E-Government Act of 2002 into law in November 2003 and it was scheduled to end this month.

The bill also would require the director of the Office of Management and Budget to develop best practices for agencies to follow in conducting privacy impact assessments.

The legislation also provides findings about how agencies have improved the public’s search of government documents via the Web.

“Some federal agencies have not taken actions to make all of the information available through their Web sites readily accessible to commercial search engines,” the bill states.

Because of these findings, Lieberman added a provision that would require the OMB director to develop guidance and best practices within a year of the bill becoming law to ensure federal information is more readily accessible online through commercial search engines. OMB also would have to follow up with agencies and submit an annual report to Congress on agency progress in meeting this requirement.

Agencies would have two years after the bill becomes law to ensure they comply with the regulations and report to OMB annually about the use of best practices to make information more easily found.

The bill also would expand the information OMB submits annually to Congress on the progress of e-government implementation. The White House would submit the agency reports along with an overall summary of federal progress. Under the current law, OMB submits only an overall summary.

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