Amendment stalls E-gov bill

A Senate bill to reauthorize the eGovernment Act of 2002, which
had been approved and was set for a floor vote, hit a sudden and
unexpected snag today that puts a number of government information
technology initiatives on hold or in limbo.

S. 2321, the E-Government Reauthorization Act of 2007, was intended to extend appropriations and authorization for programs whose authorizations have expired and create new requirements for accessibility of government information. The programs would be authorized through 2012.

The bill also provided mandates to develop best practices to enhance
privacy impact assessments. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Joseph
Lieberman (ID-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and
Governmental Affairs Committee.

However, a last minute bid by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to
attach an amendment to the reauthorization act has stalled the
bill, according to legislative and executive branch sources. And
with the Senate due to adjourn, the bill will effectively die.

Sources said the amendment placed controversial new requirements
for protecting personal individual information and restrictions on
data brokers. Efforts to move the amendment to another bill proved
unsuccessful, and instead led to deadlock, sources said.

As a result, the funding and authorization for a variety of IT
initiatives managed by the Office of Management and Budget are now
in legislative limbo. Details are still being confirmed, but among
them are programs such as the Federal Information Security
Management Act, which is tied to the eGovernment Act of 2002, and
the eGovernment Fund, which supports the review of interagency IT

The original E-Government Act, signed by President Bush on Dec.
17, 2002, was regarded as the first major piece of IT legislation
since the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996.

About the Author

Wyatt Kash served as chief editor of GCN (October 2004 to August 2010) and also of Defense Systems (January 2009 to August 2010). He currently serves as Content Director and Editor at Large of 1105 Media.


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