Senate unanimously passes e-gov bill

Senate unanimously passes e-gov bill

The Senate last night passed legislation to establish a Senate-confirmed administrator for a new Office of Electronic Government and authorize $345 million over four years to support interagency e-government projects.

The amended version of S 803, the E-Government Act of 2001 sponsored by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) and Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.), passed by unanimous consent and was sent to the House for consideration.

The bill originally sought to establish a federal CIO, but that provision was changed to an administrator in a new office within the Office of Management and Budget. The bill follows the administration's goal of allocating $100 million over three years beginning this year for e-government projects, and then adds more funding later.

'It is time for the government to take full advantage of the Internet and other information technologies to maximize efficiency and provide the public with seamless, secure online information and services,' Lieberman said.

The bill removes the November expiration date for the Government Information Security
Reform Act and encourages compatibility of electronic signature technology. It provides $8 million to the General Services Administration to establish a framework for e-signatures under the Federal Bridge Certificate Authority.

Finally, the bill calls for an online federal Web site directory, for federal courts to post opinions online and for improvement in recruiting and training federal IT workers.

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