E-gov bill passes House

The House Nov. 15 unanimously passed e-government legislation that would set up a new Office of E-Government within the Office of Management and Budget to improve coordination and deployment of information technology across government.

The bill, H.R. 2458, also includes appropriations for an e-government fund that increases from $45 million in 2003 to $150 million in 2006.

The Senate-passed bill, S. 803, calls for the top e-government official to be Senate-confirmed; the House bill does not.

The House bill also includes:

* A screening board in a new Office of E-Government to assess cutting-edge technologies that will facilitate interagency cooperation.

* A program to evaluate and provide monetary awards for cutting-edge anti-terrorism technologies, H.R. 4629.

* Provisions of Title V of the Services Acquisition Reform Act of 2002 that allow state and local governments to buy off the General Services Administration federal supply schedules for automated data processing equipment, software, supplies, support equipment and services. "This will help state and local governments rapidly deploy electronic government solutions as well and ensure a more integrated digital environment at every level of government," said David Marin, spokesman for Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va. Davis is chairman of the House Government Reform subcommittee on technology and procurement policy.

* The Federal Information Security Management Act, H.R. 3844, which reauthorizes and strengthens the Government Information Security Reform Act. GISRA expires in November.

* The Digital Tech Corps Act, H.R. 3925, which provides for an exchange of mid-level IT staff between private sector organization and government agencies. Exchanges would last six to 24 months, and participants would retain pay and benefits from their prospective employers while on Tech Corps assignment. Private-sector employees would be prohibited from working on trade secrets while working in the government if those trade secrets relate to their private-sector work.

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