Bush Budget Promotes Net Initiatives



The Bush administration's 207-page budget for fiscal 2002 calls for using the Internet to create a "citizen-centric" government. "By enabling individuals to penetrate the federal bureaucracy to access information and transact business, the Internet promises to shift power from a handful of leaders in Washington to individual citizens," the plan states.

Bush proposes creating an "E-government fund" that would support interagency electronic-government initiatives. The fund would start with $10 million in funding in 2002, and grow to a total of $100 million during the next three years. The Office of Management and Budget would control disbursement of funds.

The fund would pay for, among other projects, www.firstgov.gov, an online government-information portal, and the development of a public key encryption system for digital signatures on government Web sites. Money could also be used to fund the Government Paperwork Elimination Act of 1998, which encourages federal agencies to use electronic filing.

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