GAO taking a second look at e-gov projects

Lawmakers' interest in the Office of Management and Budget's 25 e-government initiatives seems to be peaking.

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) late last year asked the General Accounting Office to conduct a study of the projects to determine underlying challenges that affect the initiatives.

This will be GAO's second review of the Quicksilver programs. The audit agency released a report for Sens. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) and Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) late last month on the selection and implementation process of the 25 initiatives.

"Rep. Davis asked for a comprehensive review to include how successfully the lead federal agency is managing the project and the amount of cooperation from all participating federal agencies," said David Marin, a Davis spokesman.

Davis, chairman of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology and Procurement Policy, in October sent his request to GAO comptroller David M. Walker.

Linda Koontz, GAO director for information management issues, said her office is just getting started on Davis' request. GAO will look at a sampling of the projects to see how collaboration is working among agencies, state and local governments, and industry, she said. A timetable for the study has yet to be determined, Koontz said.

Davis asked GAO to look at the initiatives' progress and to "ensure that the administration has effective strategies in place to overcome the biggest obstacles, such as motivating disparate government entities at the federal, state and local level to collaborate on seamless services."

Marin said the report is part of the subcommittee's oversight of the E-Government Act, which establishes a new E-Government Office within OMB.

"Now that we have statutorily created this office, we need to monitor its operations to ensure it is meeting its goals and agencies are taking the new office seriously," he said.

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