Senator worried about cutting transparency programs

Carper suggests reduction from $34M to $8M is 'penny-wise and pound-foolish'

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) has said recent budget cuts to Data.gov, Federal IT Dashboard and other federal transparency programs may harm efforts to reduce improper payments and wasteful federal spending.

Congress reduced the fiscal 2011 appropriation for the General Services Administration’s E-government Fund, which supports those programs, to $8 million, down from $34 million last year.

Carper, who chairs the Senate Homeland Security Committee's Federal Financial Management, Subcommittee, wrote a letter April 21 to federal CIO Vivek Kundra saying the cuts were “penny-wise and pound-foolish.” For example, the Office of Management and Budget’s Federal IT Dashboard has been credited with identifying $3 billion in cost savings in federal IT programs, Carper wrote.


Related stories:

New IT bill would hold CIOs accountable, step up congressional oversight

Future of Data.gov, transparency sites unclear


"I remain concerned with how the new lower funding level for the E-Gov Fund might not only impede the progress made thus far to make government more open and transparent, but also harm efforts to cut wasteful and duplicative spending in the federal government,” Carper wrote.

Carper also asked Kundra to detail how the programs would be affected by the budget cuts and which programs would go offline.

In a related development, Carper introduced legislation that would require agency CIOs to review IT projects if they deviate 20 percent or more from baseline cost estimates and the IT dashboard.



About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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