Dear Congress: Don't let transparency die; restore E-Gov funding in 2012June 13, 2011 - by Donny Shaw
We at the Participatory Politics Foundation are happy to have joined 29 other organizations in signing a letter asking Congress to restore funding for the Electronic Government Fund so that the government transparency projects that have been terminated due to budget cuts can be brought back online and expanded. As the letter notes, the open government projects managed under the E-Gov fund have a proven track record of improving government efficiency, increasing accountability, and fueling private job creation in the knowledge-based economy. With the relatively small amount of money needed to bring these projects back online (less than 0.001% of the budget), and with job creation and deficit reduction as top concerns, restoring the E-Gov fund should be a no-brainer.
In the 2011 continuing resolution that Congress passed earlier this year, the E-Gov fund was cut by 75%, from $34 million to $8 million. As a result, all new government transparency projects have been terminated and those that are already live have been scaled back from active development to maintenance-only status. The subcommittee with jurisdiction over the E-Gov fund, the House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee, is meeting on June 16th to mark-up funding levels for 2012. If they care about giving the economy a boost while improving government function across the board, they should restore full funding to E-Government for 2012 and commit to the fund for the long term.
Big thanks to our friends at OMB Watch for initiating the letter and getting us involved.