Congress Approves E-Gov Legislation

Bill authorizes $45M next year to create an Office of Electronic Government; measure heads to White House.
Posted November 18, 2002

Roy Mark

The U.S. Senate on Friday passed the Electronic Government Act to establish an Office of Electronic Government, headed by a presidentially-appointed administrator within the Office of Management and Budget. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the same bill in the early morning hours of Friday, and the legislation is expected to be signed by President George W. Bush.

The bill creates an E-Government Fund that will invest in inter-agency projects with government-wide application. The bill authorizes $45 million for the Fund in 2003 and ramps up to $150 million in 2006. The administrator will implement e-government initiatives and oversee agencies' compliance with relevant statutes.

"Congressional passage of this legislation represents the culmination of years of work," Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D.-Conn.), chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee, said. "As a result, the government will be taking full advantage of the Internet and other information technologies to maximize efficiency and provide the public with seamless, secure online information and services."

Lieberman first introduced the legislation in May of with Sen. Conrad Burns (R.-Mont.). It passed the Senate in June by unanimous consent, but changes made in the House version, including reducing the overall funding levels proposed by the Senate, prompted the new vote on Friday's compromise version.

The new legislation also:

  • Authorizes funding for improvement of the federal Internet portal,, so that on-line government information and services are organized "according to citizen needs, not agency jurisdiction.";
  • Requires regulatory agencies to conduct administrative rule-makings on the Internet, and federal courts to post court information and judicial opinions on their Web sites;
  • Allows agencies, scientists, policy makers and the public to have access over the Internet to non-sensitive information about where federal funds for scientific research are spent;
  • Improves recruitment and training for federal information technology professionals; and
  • Establishes "significant new privacy protections" for personally identifiable information maintained by the government.

  • 0 Comments (click to add your comment)
    Comment and Contribute


    (Maximum characters: 1200). You have characters left.