WASHINGTON – Governmental Affairs Committee Ranking Member Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., Tuesday said a new report on the federal government’s compliance with the E-Government Act is “an important milestone” in marking the success of the law.
“The report represents an important milestone in the progress made as a result of the E-Government Act,” said Lieberman, who authored the Act. “And it will provide a useful framework for ongoing Congressional oversight.”
Accomplishments cited by Lieberman include:
· The new Office of Electronic Government is providing leadership on government-wide programs that break down traditional agency stovepipes, presenting information and services in a format far more useful to the public. · Important progress has already been made in strengthening privacy protections, as a result of the Act’s requirement that agencies assess the privacy impact of new IT systems and new collections of information. · Regulatory agencies are well on their way towards placing their entire regulatory dockets on the Internet, allowing citizens to become more involved in the rulemaking process. Lieberman said the OMB report also demonstrates that much work remains to be done. “The E-Government Act’s ambitious requirements regarding the dissemination of information for the public,” Lieberman said, “will require additional work by federal agencies and effective leadership by the Administrator of the Office of Electronic Government. “Agencies and the OMB have only just begun to comply with a number of requirements of the Act,” Lieberman said. Lieberman also announced his intent to ask Congress’ investigative arm to conduct a review of the federal government’s compliance with the E-Government Act. He said a General Accounting Office evaluation would provide an impartial and independent review of the facts in gauging the government’s progress. The E-Government Act was intended to promote the innovative use of the Internet and other information technologies to bring the federal government more fully into the electronic age and improve citizen access to useful government services and information. Among other things, the law: · Established an Office of Electronic Government to implement e-government initiatives and oversee agencies’ compliance with relevant statutes. · Established an E-Government Fund to invest in interagency projects with government-wide application. · Authorized funding for improvement of the federal Internet portal, Firstgov.gov, so that on-line government information and services are organized according to citizen needs, not agency jurisdiction. · Requires regulatory agencies to conduct administrative rule-makings on the Internet, and federal courts to post court information and judicial opinions on their websites · Allows agencies, scientists, policy makers, and the public to have access over the Internet to non-sensitive information about where federal funds for scientific research are spent. · Established significant new privacy protections for personally-identifiable information maintained by the government.