Saturday, September 21, 2002

An earlier article on the US' e-authentication gateway notes that the piliot is funded to the tune of $2 million and will launch on September 30th, but that there is no funding (yet) for the full roll-out. This one notes that agencies may be asked to fund it themselves - which would require "re-tooling" their commitments to date. So ... if we couple that with this article on an extra bid for $45 million for the e-government programme - a "critical amount of money" for achieving the e-government programme. The article goes on to note that the Federal IT budget is $52 billion, for the 24 "quicksilver" e-government project. This $45 million is for reducing duplication, ensuring that legacy systems are retired. Mark Forman, the US e-envoy says “Clearly there are a number of areas where we are overinvested,” Forman said. “We saw this with E-Training. When we launched GoLearn.gov, we were able to buy the technology once and scale it out for everyone to use.”. Now there's a view I can identify with - build once, replicate many. But I don't follow how $45 million in the middle gets you benefits versus $52 billion on the programme. I thought that the US had put the control over the e-government projects in the hands of Mark - an excellent move - dual key equivalent, but stronger. I'll find out - one of the key learning points for any country embarking on e-government project is that funding control is vital - if you leave it in the "stovepipes" you won't get joined up projects, you will get duplication and you won't see the benefits that you need.

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