E-gov personnel could earn performance bonuses

E-gov personnel could earn performance bonuses

Do well on your e-government projects, and you could get a fat bonus check.

Mark Forman, the Office of Management and Budget's associate director for e-government and IT, confirmed yesterday that personnel working on the two most successful e-government projects would share in a bonus pool of several hundred thousand dollars, should Congress agree to provide the funds.

Those top two projects will be chosen based on overall performance, Forman said.

In all, the administration is requesting $45 million for the e-gov projects through the General Services Administration. This is an increase of $25 million over fiscal 2002's request and $40 million more than Congress appropriated this year. The administration hopes that the business cases developed for the projects will convince appropriators to fund them.

Forman spoke at an IT budget briefing hosted by the Industry Advisory Council in Washington. He focused on the relationship between agencies and vendors on e-government and discussed a host of other IT issues.

GSA's role in the government-to-citizen portion of e-government also will increase. The administration proposes to create an Office of Citizen Services to improve services. Forman said FirstGov.gov and the National Consumer Information Center would be under this new office.

'All states which have heavily invested in e-gov found [that] people want one-stop shopping, and that is not the way the federal government is built,' Forman said. 'The office will be the first part of a one-stop shop where citizens can find information by NCIC call center or through the Firstgov.gov portal.'

Forman also said agencies should expect contractors to play a significant role in moving the projects forward and that agencies need to look at business process outsourcing for at least parts, if not all, of the initiatives.

Forman pointed to the latest initiative, e-payroll, as an example of how industry will be able to help. He said there were 13 or 14 payroll processing centers within the government and agencies wanted to spend almost $1 billion on software to modernize each of them. Instead, some of the processes could be outsourced and others combined to form one centralized system.

'We are asking vendors to look at the performance information for major IT investments,' Forman said. 'We are focusing on business cases that get the job done and not necessarily saves us money.'

Forman also said OMB used its powers under the Clinger-Cohen Act to withhold funding for 10 percent of IT projects with poor or no business cases. In all, 400 projects worth more than $10 billion need to be fixed, he said.

Forman said funding for security nearly doubled to $4.2 billion to help address agency gaps found under the Government Information Security and Results Act. He said a GISRA report would be out later this week.

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