Budget Cuts May Quash Obama's Goals to Let Citizens Watch Big Brother

Monday, 18 Apr 2011 02:59 PM

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New federal budget cuts imperil President Barack Obama’s plans to use the Internet to make it easier for citizens to keep tabs on the government. The budget deal passed last week cuts the Electronic Government Fund from $35 million to $8 million, The Washington Post reported.

The cuts could mean the end of a series of websites, such as Data.gov., IT Dashboard, and USASpending.gov, designed to post documents and track federal spending on such things as information technology and contracts. Obama has pushed transparency in government since becoming president and advocated a streamlined Freedom of Information system, more posting of government information, and greater use of social media, the Post reported.

Administration officials still are evaluating implications of the budget cuts still are being evaluated, White House chief information officer Vivek Kundra said at a Senate hearing. “We are going to have to make some tough decisions around which systems are going to have to go off-line versus what can be supported with $8 million in funds,” the Post quoted her as saying.


Advocates for greater transparency in government said the cuts are shortsighted. The money necessary to run the states could save the government billions, they told the Post.


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