Transparency groups call for increased E-Gov funding

Monday - 6/13/2011, 1:56pm EDT

By Vyomika Jairam
Federal News Radio

Open government groups are calling on Congress to restore funding to the E-Government Fund. OMB Watch and more than 30 other transparency groups sent a letter to the House Financial Services and General Government subcommittee, calling the reduction in funding "penny-wise and pound-foolish."

The administration had asked for $35 million for the E-Gov fund in 2011. Instead, the fund's $34 million budget was cut by 75 percent to $8 million for 2011, prompting the Office of Management and Budget to revaluate how to manage the fund's seven open-government projects, including USAspending.gov, the IT Dashboard, Data.gov, and Performance.gov.

In May, federal CIO Vivek Kundra detailed the changes in a letter to Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.). OMB announced that it would be terminating two sites:

  • FedSpace - a collaboration platform for federal employees to share information and develop a community to solve problems. The General Services Administration runs FedSpace but it was only in beta testing.

  • The Citizen Services Dashboard - was expected to provide information about the quality of federal services, including timeliness, accuracy and customer satisfaction to citizens. OMB hoped to add other services including using data to inform agency decisions making.

In addition, Kundra said that there would be no upgrades to the current sites.

In their letter, the open-government groups say that the E-Gov Fund has a "proven track record of successful transparency projects that have delivered efficiency improvements and increased government accountability."