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: