WASHINGTON – Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) Wednesday called for a bipartisan effort to create a more effective, efficient, and citizen-centered government by applying the latest information technologies to the federal government?s online systems.
“Information technology offers an unprecedented opportunity to redefine the relationship between the public and its government just as it has redefined the relationship between retailers and consumers, teachers and students, soldiers and their foes,” Lieberman said. “The idea is to apply the lessons of the online private sector to the mission of government, and that means providing better services, more accessible information, and greater accountability, at significant cost savings.”
At a hearing on the “E-Government Act of 2001”, S.803, Lieberman called on representatives from industry and local, state, and federal government to share recommendations on the bill. Among those testifying was Sean O?Keefe, Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget, who pledged to work with the Committee to reach consensus on e-government legislation.
“We have a growing consensus in this country, in both parties, that the era of big government is over,” Lieberman said. “Our goal is not to make government bigger, but to make it smarter, less wasteful, and more efficient.
“We want to use information technology to bring about a revolution in current bureaucratic structures so that we can engage the public, restore its trust and ultimately, increase public participation in the democratic process,” Lieberman continued. The “E-Government Act of 2001” was introduced in May by Lieberman and Senator Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) and has the support of 13 cosponsors. The bill seeks to maximize efficiency and accessibility to the federal government by :
creating a Chief Information Officer within the Office of Management and Budget to promote e-government and implement government wide information policy;
establishing a e-government fund to support agency projects and innovations;
building an online directory of Federal web sites and indexes of resources;
instituting an online national library;
and requiring federal courts to post opinions online.
In addition, the bill contains a variety of other provisions that would promote the use of the Internet in the regulatory process and establish strong privacy protections.