Trimble: Funding our priorities

We are not demonstrating our support for e-government with our pocketbooks.

Earlier this month, Karen Evans testified before Congress on the progress of the e-government initiatives. She should be commended for her work in carrying the banner for e-government as the Office of Management and Budget's e-government and information technology administrator.

Despite her hard work, we are not demonstrating our support with our pocketbooks.

The fiscal 2005 budget request showcases the e-deficit, calling for just $5 million for the e-government fund. The Bush administration is counting on the General Services Administration to add $40 million in surplus revenues. That said, it is significant to note that in each of the past three years, Congress has approved only one-ninth of the requested funds. At this funding level, it is unrealistic to expect agencies to enact real change.

Is e-government worth fighting for? Clearly, citizens are voting with their mouse clicks. Between 2000 and 2002, the number of U.S. Internet users accessing government services online grew from 40 million to 71 million, according to the Pew Research Center. And those numbers are expected to rise.

So why the lack of funding? Although e-government has changed the way Americans interact with government, it has failed to develop a vested constituency. Ironically, this cross-boundary initiative has no home base.

Despite Evans' vision and leadership, it is unreasonable for her to fight for

e-government alone. As citizens and members of the IT community, we need to focus on building an e-government constituency if our country is to realize the full benefits of those initiatives.

Last year, the public and private sectors came together, committing to fund a public awareness program that promotes the requirement for enhanced

cybersecurity. The goal is to carry the message to more than 50 million Americans. Similarly, the public and private sectors should collaborate to demonstrate the tangible value that e-government brings to American citizens and businesses.

The potential benefits are huge. One need only look at a few achievements to see the power these initiatives have to transform the business of government:

Each month, FirstGov helps 6 million visitors find information about government services.

The Small Business Administration's BusinessLaw.gov accelerates the launching of new small businesses.

In the critical area of homeland security, the Homeland Security Department's DisasterHelp initiatives gives thousands of emergency managers essential information to protect and serve in times of crisis.

Programs such as these let constituents conduct necessary business with government more easily and efficiently. As a result, businesses spend less time on paperwork and more time focused on achieving critical business objectives. Citizens spend less work time visiting government offices and more time being productive. Government agencies spend less time on manual processes and more time serving the American public.

A public/private-sector collaboration effort should feature a broad-based public awareness campaign that communicates e-government's benefits and its vast promise. E-government has the potential to take cross-government collaboration from wishful thinking to reality. It's time to form a much-needed e-government constituency. By fighting for an upfront investment in e-government, we fight for the government we deserve.

Trimble is chief executive officer of EzGov Inc., provider of e-government software and solutions to governments and development partners. He can be reached at

ed.trimble@ezgov.com.

NEXT STORY: Callahan quits DHS

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.