While perhaps well-meaning, the E-Government Act of 2002 and the Office of E-Government & Information Technology, part of the Office of Management and Budget, have overwhelmingly not satisfied or accomplished their core technology-centric missions for over two decades.
While there have been a few successes, there have been more disappointments or complete deficiencies. For illustration, does the Office of Personnel Management data breach ring a bell, to name a few instances? Almost 22.1 million records were affected, including government employees, other people who had undergone background checks, and their friends and family.
For another example, as of this writing, February 2022, their official website addresses are: https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/management/egov/
Because there is no official or individual website for the Office of E-Government & Information Technology, the exact cost paid for by American taxpayers for that specialized organization is not freely available. In theory, a few years ago, DATA.gov, another disappointment of many by E-Gov, was alleged to make government data more usable, such as what is the budget for E-GOV, which never materialized.
Yes, that is correct, the Federal Chief Information Officer of the United States Office of E-Government & Information Technology or Office of Electronic Government is not adequately skilled, inclined, or competent of modernizing their antiquated website addresses or design or hosting their website, separate from the Office of Management and Budget.
As a reminder, the Federal Chief Information Officer of the United States, also known as the United States Chief Information Officer, is the Office of Electronic Government administrator, part of the Office of Management and Budget.
The President of the United States appoints the Federal CIO. The appointee does not require Senate confirmation. The office was created by the E-Government Act of 2002.
Office of E-Government and Information Technology presents the following: “The Office of E-Government and Information Technology (E-Gov), headed by the Federal Government’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), develops and provides direction in the use of Internet-based technologies to make it easier for citizens and businesses to interact with the Federal Government, save taxpayer dollars, and streamline citizen participation.”
Does any American taxpayer trust that our Federal Government is functioning productively to advocate to “save taxpayer dollars” and “streamline citizen participation”
Serving as the Federal Chief Information Officer of the United States is Clare Martorana, an American business executive, film producer, and government official. She formerly served as the United States Office of Personnel Management CIO from 2019 to 2021.
Simultaneously the Director of the OMB (Office of Management and Budget) Shalanda Young and the head of the Office of E-Government & Information Technology, a child agency of the OMB, have been detailed online as having a Bachelor of Arts degree and no technology certifications or credentials whatsoever.
To be sure, many of the top-performing technology businesses like Apple, Google, Facebook, and others, consist of employees with no college education; however, those employees and executives do have technology credentials skillsets, formally and informally.
The United States Digital Service is a technology unit housed within the Executive Office of the President of the United States. It provides consultation services to federal agencies on information technology. The United States Digital Service states the following “It seeks to improve and simplify digital service, and to improve federal websites.”
So why did I mention all this? Because we have overlapping federal agencies costing taxpayers millions of dollars every year?
I recommend getting rid of specific self-proclaimed technology mission-critical federal agencies and offices that have been overwhelmingly demonstrated unproductive and costly. By doing this, we will save millions of taxpayer dollars, which can be promptly reallocated to fund a new federal agency to be called the Department of Technology.
I urge the following Federal agencies and offices to be gradually phased out as soon as conceivable to save taxpayer dollars and, with that money, the previous employees may be considered by an independent advisory committee consisting of technology industry leaders to be consolidated to establish a new federal agency called the Department of Technology. And yes, such a hearing should be aired on C-SPAN. (More on the independent advisory committee consisting of technology industry leaders in another article.)
Office of E-Government & Information Technology
USDS – United States Digital Service
CIO.GOV – Chief Information Officers (CIO) Council
Our Federal Government has missed out on necessary technology transformation due to unsatisfactory governance of technology administration at the federal level. As a result, many IT projects repeatedly cost hundreds of millions of dollars more than they should, taking years longer than necessary to set up and then delivering obsolete technologies by the time they are completed.
It’s time for the Department of Technology to come into existence without raising taxes or adding to our sovereign debt. Our national debt is over $30 trillion, a debt owed by our federal government, as of this writing. Moreover, a future Department of Technology will deliver a more cost-effectively, fiscally transparent, and efficient civil workforce than what we called for or counted on back in 2002, with our E-Government Act of 2002.