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Whither Open Gov? The Latest on Dollars for Data

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, April 5 2011

An update on the situation where funding for open government projects like Data.gov and the IT Dashboard would be cut down to the bone as part of budget negotiations happening on the Hill: the Sunlight Foundation's* Daniel Schuman writes that, under the latest continuing resolution under consideration, funding for the E-Government Fund would be back up in the tens of millions range. So has the data been "saved," to borrow language from Sunlight's campaign? Maybe!

The deal seems to be that the latest measure would tag some $17 million for the fund, prorated to the short period of time for which the federal government would be kept open by the CR. So, in actual fact, the amount of real money at play is less than a million dollars. That said, and this is all just as confusing as it probably sounds, one takeaway is that the sort of levels being discussed seems to signal a willingness to henceforth fund "electronic" government efforts in Obama era levels -- it was $34 million in FY 2011 -- rather than back down at the single digit (in millions) rate that it was in the Bush years.

*Note: Our Andrew Rasiej and Micah Sifry are senior advisors to the Sunlight Foundation.