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.