House panel would restore small portion of transparency funding

E-government funding for fiscal 2012 restores small portion of previous drastic cut

A House subcommittee on June 16 started to restore a small portion of the requested funding for federal e-government and transparency programs that Congress recently had cut.

The House Appropriations Committee's Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee voted on funding for e-government programs at the General Services Administration. It also recommended consolidating several of the programs, making the overall effect less clear. The panel approved a $50 million budget for GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies.

It also proposed to move funding for the E-Gov Funding into that office. Combined, the fiscal 2012 amount would represent a slight increase from the $42 million those offices received separately in fiscal 2011: that total includes $34 million for citizen services and $8 million for the e-gov fund.

Related story:

Budget cuts hit e-gov efforts hard

Congress recently sharply reduced the GSA’s Electronic Government Fund’s budget to $8 million in fiscal 2011, from a $34 million level last year and $34 million sought by the administration. The E-Gov fund handles programs including, and the Federal IT Dashboard.

Under the June 16 subcommittee vote, approximately $13 million would go to the E-Gov fund, while approximately $37 million would go for the remainder of the citizens services office, including, according to Sunlight Foundation Policy Counsel Daniel Schuman. "Unfortunately, the $13 million the Subcommittee voted for is significantly lower than the $34 million allocated for the E-Gov Fund in 2010," he said.

The subcommittee’s total for the GSA office fell short of the $74 million that was requested by the administration and also short of the $68 million that was enacted for those programs in the fiscal 2010 budget, according to OMB Watch.

If approved by Congress, the subcommittee’s proposed budget would provide the E-Gov Fund with just over half of the enacted level of dollars it had in fiscal 2010, causing advocates to raise alarms.

“The subcommittee’s bill is a small step in the right direction of protecting critical transparency and efficiency projects,” said Craig Jennings, director of federal fiscal policy at OMB Watch. “We remain concerned that valuable services won’t receive the resources needed to deliver the transparency that the American people deserve. We encourage the House Appropriations Committee to restore full funding to these cost-saving investments.”

OMB was among more than two dozen transparency and government watchdog groups that circulated a letter calling for restoration of the E-Gov Fund earlier this week.

About the Author

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

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Shutterstock image: looking for code.

    How DOD embraced bug bounties -- and how your agency can, too

    Hack the Pentagon proved to Defense Department officials that outside hackers can be assets, not adversaries.

  • Shutterstock image: cyber defense.

    Why PPD-41 is evolutionary, not revolutionary

    Government cybersecurity officials say the presidential policy directive codifies cyber incident response protocols but doesn't radically change what's been in practice in recent years.

  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group