Analysis: Flimsy 'business case' led to e-gov cuts

Thursday - 9/22/2011, 6:06pm EDT

Mark Forman, former e-gov administrator

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The pot of money that funds open government web sites and programs like FedRAMP will be a lot smaller than the administration would like.

The Senate Appropriations Committee would like to shrink the fund to about $7 million in fiscal 2012, and the House will fund the account at just under $16 million. That's much smaller than the $34 million the administration asked for in ots original budget request in February.

One reason for cuts to the e-gov budget is agencies have failed to make a business case for open government projects, said Mark Forman, former e-gov administrator, said in an interview with In Depth with Francis Rose.

Lawmakers, instead, see these funds as going to "vaporware," policies that will go nowhere, Forman said.

"You've got to state the value proposition and have that line of sight...the cause and effect data that you are in this case going to generate the cost savings or whatever the metrics are anointed by CBO (congressional Budget Office), so they can score this as no net cost or very little net cost," Forman said.