Despite calling for a discretionary budget freeze for 2011, President Barack Obama has requested $79.4 billion in spending on information technology projects for fiscal 2011, a 1.2 percent increase over the amount he requested for fiscal 2010. Included in the proposal are 29 new major IT projects, making for a total of 809 major IT initiatives in 2011 according to the budget proposal.
One program that will continue under the President’s proposed budget is the General Service Administration’s Citizen Engagement Platform. The program is designed to increase the government’s ability to interact and collaborate with constituents and provide a cost-effective engagement resource for all federal agencies. That platform is a collaboration between GSA and the Office of Management and Budget.
The request says, “The Citizen Engagement Platform will build on pilots launched last year by continuing to identify new technology applications to enable intra-agency and interagency collaboration and create a coordinated process for identifying tools and eliminating the redundant work presently carried out by agencies implementing new social media tools.”
The budget request calls for launching a new tracking tool with daily updates that would provide the public with the ability to see aggregate spending by agency and also by geographic area as an effort to increase transparency. Obama also wants a new search mechanic to allow the public to “mash” data by location, agency and timeframe.
“This innovative development will allow people to have a greater understanding of how their government works, and hold officials accountable for responsible spending decisions,” as per the request.
Pan-agency program requests include creating a centralized, interoperable IT services hub for civilian agencies. “Centralizing federal IT services will reduce duplicative and wasteful spending; reduce facility space usage; increase security; improve service delivery; and reduce energy consumption,” the request states. “It is projected that this approach could prevent billions in increased costs across the federal government over the next few years.”