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E-Gov Fund Letter to Senate 2013-07-10

E-Gov Fund Letter to Senate 2013-07-10

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Published by Sunlight Foundation
Sign on letter organized by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, joined by the Sunlight Foundation and Center for Effective Government.
Sign on letter organized by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, joined by the Sunlight Foundation and Center for Effective Government.

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Published by: Sunlight Foundation on Jul 16, 2013
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02/15/2014

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July 11, 2013The Honorable Tom UdallChairman, Financial Services and General Government SubcommitteeThe Honorable Mike JohannsRanking Member, Financial Services and General Government SubcommitteeRe: FY 2014 Appropriations for the Electronic Government Fund Dear Chairman Udall and Ranking Member Johanns:We are writing to encourage you to fully fund the Electronic Government Fund. In hisFY 2014 Budget, President Obama requested a $20,150,000 appropriation for the fund, a modestincrease over last year’s funding level, although significantly lower than the $34,000,000appropriated in FY 2009 and 2010 and far less than the amounts authorized by the E-Government Act of 2002.The E-Gov Fund has a proven track record of developing successful technology-based transparency projects that improve government efficiency and accountability. Under the E-GovFund, which is administered by the General Services Administration under the supervision of theFederal Chief Information Officer, technology programs are developed that harness government-wide efficiencies.For example, the E-Gov Fund supported the development of USASpending.gov, which provides significant insight into government contract and spending data. The knowledge gained from USASpending.gov also helped inform legislation currently under consideration to further improve federal spending transparency.The IT Dashboard, another E-Gov Fund project, helped root out government waste and inefficiency in federal technology contracting, and led to the elimination of $3 billion in failed technology projects. PaymentAccuracy.gov shines a light on improper federal payments, whichtotal billions of dollars each year.E-Gov Fund projects also provide the framework for vibrant private-sector business and  job creation. The thousands of government data sets now available through Data.gov are building blocks for innovative new IT products. For instance, the search engine Bing now integratesMedicare quality data into searches for hospitals. Brightscope, a start-up company, has raised $2million in venture capital and created 30 jobs through their analysis of retirement plan data fromthe Department of Labor.In these financially difficult times, it is prudent for government to focus on where it canget the biggest bang for the buck. The E-Gov Fund has demonstrated that its return oninvestment yields dividends in dollars and transparency.

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