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More hurdles await e-government

Federal agencies are making progress on goals for electronic government, but there are still a number of technology issues to overcome.

Federal agencies are making progress on the Bush administration's goals for electronic government, but they haven't yet cleared all the hurdles, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

Of 26 agencies reviewed, the National Science Foundation has done the best job, making "significant progress in fixing identified information security problems" and developing a plan for all of the administration's initiatives, according to the OMB review, an annual budget update sent to Congress.

The review analyzed agencies' progress on the president's management agenda, which includes a plan to expand electronic government. That initiative requires agencies to focus IT spending on "improving mission performance, reducing duplication, ensuring information security and cooperating across traditional agency" lines.

The OMB ranked agencies on both their current status and their progress toward meeting the agenda's goals. All the agencies got a "green" or "yellow" ranking on progress, indicating they were either on target for achieving their goals or had only minor problems.

But the report noted that agencies now face issues related to linking fragmented applications.

"To become fully successful in this initiative, more agencies must actively partner to simplify government processes and integrate IT investments around citizen needs," the report said.

The report also highlighted accomplishments such as the relaunch of the Firstgov portal and the debut of the GovBenefits site, which helps citizens determine their eligibility for government benefits.