New life for eGov, eTravel programs

The Senate moved to develop the governmentwide eTravel system, which had been put on the House chopping block last summer, this week by meeting President Bush's request for $5 million for the E-Government Fund.

The Senate moved to develop the governmentwide eTravel system, which had been put on the House chopping block last summer, this week by meeting President Bush's request for $5 million for the E-Government Fund, Federal Computer Week reports. The House had slashed the request to $3 million.

ETravel would eliminate the need for paper travel documents and automate the entire process. It also would centralize the process through a self-service electronic system.

The Senate committee wants eTravel to be largely a small business effort. The bill directs the General Services Administration to ensure that at least 23 percent of all contracted dollars go to small businesses.

The House Appropriations Committee took a harsher tone in its committee report, erasing $2 million from the president’s budget request. It blocked the Office of Management and Budget from using $40 million in GSA’s General Supply Fund for e-government initiatives.

“The committee refuses to relinquish oversight of the development and procurement of [IT] projects of the various agencies under its jurisdiction,” the House report states.