House Panel Bumps up E-Gov Fund

Members of a House Appropriations panel seem to have allocated $13 million to the fiscal 2012 e-government fund, which pays for open government technology initiatives.

The uncertainty comes from the fact that the e-gov fund is combined with the Office of Citizen Services budget, and it's difficult to see how much each will get individually, according to the Sunlight Foundation, a government transparency advocacy group that was first to report on the draft legislation Wednesday and its approval Thursday by the House Appropriations subcommittee on financial management.

That 2012 funding level represents a $5 million hike from the $8 million e-gov received in the 11th hour continuing resolution that funded the government through the end of fiscal 2011. But it's far below the 2010 e-gov budget of $34 million, which was briefly seen as a new benchmark for the long-underfunded initiative.

The e-gov fund has helped pay for several open government programs, including Data.gov, which makes government-created datasets available to the public, and the IT Dashboard, which provides performance data on government information technology projects.

"News of today's [markup] shows Congress has heeded the public's outcry to take a small step toward restoring the full funding for online transparency initiatives," the foundation said.

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