Important government transparency programs would receive a small boost if the President’s proposed budget for FY 2013 were enacted. The Electronic Government Fund, which supports Data.gov, the IT Spending Dashboard, and USASpending.gov, among other programs, would increase by $4.2 million in FY 2013, from $12.4 million in FY 2013 to $16.665 million in FY 2013. This is still far less than the $34 million appropriated in FY 2009 and FY 2010, but would make an appreciable difference in supporting or expanding transparency initiatives.
The last few years have been turbulent for this important source of transparency funds, with appropriators essentially zeroing out the fund, then placing its programs on life support, and then finally restoring a small but significant funding level.
Of course, the President’s budget proposals have been disregarded in the past, especially with respect to this fund, so we’ll have to keep a close eye on appropriators. Hopefully last year’s deal will avoid the kind of crisis that necessitated the #savethedata campaign.
The Congressional Justification, a document that explains how the funds will be used that is submitted by GSA to Congress (but apparently is not on the White House website) is available below.