Congress approves $3 million for E-Gov Fund

Although the administration likes to say e-government is taking root in agencies, Congress still has not jumped on the bandwagon.

Senate and House conference committee members last week agreed to a fiscal 2004 appropriations bill that would allocate $3 million to the E-Government Fund. The House and Senate must now vote on the Treasury, Transportation and other agencies appropriations bills before sending it to the president.

E-government funding is down $2 million from the two previous years, when lawmakers approved $5 million for last year and 2002. It's $52 million less than Congress authorized in the E-Government Act of 2002 and $42 million less than requested for the fund by President Bush.

The White House had said it wanted to pump $100 million into the fund over a three-year period running from fiscal 2002 through this year, but if this year's bill goes through it will have received $13 million in that time. Lawmakers' decisions not to provide more funding to e-government also diminishes the chances of Congress coming up with anything near the $350 million the E-Government Act authorized for the time between last year and 2007.

The administration did receive the $2.5 million it sought for the enterprise architecture initiative, sources said. GSA administers the account and the E-Government Fund for the Office of Management and Budget.

Congress also approved full funding of $35 million for the National Archives and Records Administration's Electronic Records Project.

But lawmakers didn't heed the president's request for GSA's Office of Governmentwide Policy. Congress OK'd $56.3 million for the office, $17.6 million less than requested.


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