White House expands e-government initiative

The Office of Management and Budget is drafting plans to expand the federal government's information technology blueprint to include five new business areas, an official said at an e-government conference on Monday.

Tad Anderson, OMB's associate administrator for e-government and information technology, told reporters after his keynote address that OMB soon will convene task forces to develop details for "lines of business" on health, case management, grants, human-resources management and financial management.

Anderson added that the e-government budget for fiscal 2005 is "not as much as we would like it to be," noting that Congress funded initiatives at less than the administration's fiscal 2004 request and that OMB will work with Congress toward adequate funding for fiscal 2005.

In his speech at a conference on Web-enabled government services, Anderson touted broad and specific e-government accomplishments under the President's Management Agenda.

"Every person, every dollar, falls under the purview of the President's Management Agenda," he said, noting that the agenda "drives or influences every decision made in the federal government today." Anderson added that the agenda has brought greater cooperation among agencies, leading to progress on cost savings and efficiency.

"In breaking out of one's silos, more is gained than lost," he said in a reference to the narrowly focused technology systems of some federal agencies. "Anywhere there is change, there is cooperation. Our government investment in technology is massive."

The federal IT budget is about $164 million per day, Anderson added.

He singled out a $30 million software contract negotiated by the Treasury Department that is expected to produce millions of dollars in future savings and praised the department for overcoming "issues of ownership, control, authority and investment."

He also praised initiatives such as Geodata.gov, which houses 5,300 data sets compiled by 16 federal agencies and 18 states.

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