Ensure that the federal government uses advanced technologies and the Internet to deliver better government services to the public at lower costs, and ensure that government works in collaboration with the private sector to develop and deploy essential electronic technologies.
Summary of the Issue
According to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the federal government is the world's largest consumer of information technology (IT). However, while utilization of IT has contributed 40% of private sector productivity growth in recent years, the public sector has been unable to realize similar gains. In fact, even though the federal government now spends nearly $60 billion annually on IT, most federal agencies have not successfully used these new technologies to re-think governmental processes or create new and dynamic models of government. The E-Government Initiative seeks to change that.
The E-Government Initiative attempts to create citizen-focused services that improve the value of government to the public. An interagency E-Government Task Force is currently working to identify systematic barriers to E-Government deployment, initially in the areas of electronic procurement, grants, regulations, and authentication. Key priorities include the development of enhanced computer security and confidentiality protections, Internet-based IT systems to improve public access to information and services, fully interactive regulatory dockets, and the reduction of paperwork and reporting requirements. Improved access to information, including electronic regulatory dockets, should greatly enhance the quality and transparency of regulations.
While the promise of E-Government is massive, there are critical technological barriers. For example, the rapid advance and obsolescence of technologies means that government must develop the ability to archive and retrieve vast amounts of electronic information across generations of technologies. Private sector interests are enormous as well. Private companies need to retain and access electronic records (e.g., plans, specifications, and designs) for a variety of legal and regulatory purposes. Some of these records encompass millions of pages, can only be stored electronically, and may require access for decades into the future. As such, the legal and regulatory implications of E-Government are only now becoming clear.
U.S. Chamber Strategy
- Work with Congress and the Executive Branch to ensure that the federal government uses advanced technologies and the Internet to deliver better government services at lower costs.
- Promote government collaboration with the private sector to develop and deploy essential electronic technologies.
- Support research and development efforts to create electronic records archiving capabilities for federal agencies and the private sector.
Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs Division