House Subcommittee Moves to Slightly Increase Funding for Transparency Projects, but More Resources Needed

-For Immediate Release-
June 16, 2011

Contact: Brian Gumm, (202) 683-4812,

House Subcommittee Moves to Slightly Increase Funding for Transparency Projects, but More Resources Needed

WASHINGTON, June 16, 2011—The House Financial Services and General Government appropriations subcommittee today approved its fiscal year 2012 spending bill. The legislation would slightly increase funding for critical government transparency projects, but the full ramifications of the subcommittee’s actions are unclear.

The subcommittee bill moves the Electronic Government Fund (E-Gov Fund), which supports important transparency websites such as and, into the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies (OCSIT), which manages other government IT projects such as the web portal The GSA already oversees the E-Gov Fund.

OCSIT would receive $50 million under the bill, an increase of $7.8 million from the combined FY 2011 budgets for OCSIT ($34.2 million) and the E-Gov Fund ($8 million). However, the level is still $20.5 million less than the combined fiscal year 2010 budgets for OCSIT and the E-Gov Fund. The bill falls $23.9 million short of the administration’s request, which was a total of $73.9 million for both funds ($34 million for the E-Gov Fund and $39.9 million for OCSIT).

OMB Watch is concerned that a combined $50 million is not enough to properly fund both the OCSIT and the E-Gov Fund.

“The subcommittee’s bill is a small step in the right direction of protecting critical transparency and efficiency projects,” said Craig Jennings, Director of Federal Fiscal Policy at OMB Watch. “We remain concerned that valuable services won’t receive the resources needed to deliver the transparency that the American people deserve. We encourage the House Appropriations Committee to restore full funding to these cost-saving investments.”

On June 13, OMB Watch released a letter, signed by more than 30 transparency and good government groups, calling for restoration of the funding for the E-Gov Fund. The letter noted that the E-Gov Fund “has a proven track record of successful transparency projects that have delivered efficiency improvements and increased government accountability.” At the same time, the fund has more than paid for itself, with its programs resulting in the termination of $3 billion in failing technology projects.

The open government groups’ letter, along with a list of the signers, can be found online at

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OMB Watch is a nonprofit research and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting government accountability, citizen participation in public policy decisions, and the use of fiscal and regulatory policy to serve the public interest. Find OMB Watch on Facebook and Twitter.

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