New e-gov initiatives expected in the fall

Federal agencies have started work on plans for new cross-agency IT initiatives that will consolidate operations in criminal investigation, public health information, financial management and human resources, said Mark Forman, administrator of IT and e-government in the Office of Management and Budget.

Opportunities to consolidate operations in these areas were identified in agency IT budget requests for fiscal 2004.

Forman spoke today at a hearing of the House Government Reform subcommittee on technology, information policy, intergovernmental relations and the census.

Business cases for the new projects should be complete by September, Forman said.

The initiatives will result in about $4 billion in savings through fiscal 2008 and improved government operations, he said.

For example, federal officials realized when anthrax was being sent through the mail in 2001 that the plethora of public health information systems wasn't effectively linking medical facilities to the information they needed. "We probably need two systems, not 18," he said.

The Department of Health and Human Services will lead the public health information project, and the Justice Department will lead the criminal investigations case management project. Efforts to identify lead agencies for the human resources information systems and financial management systems initiatives are under way, Forman said.

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