In what's being called a budget technopocalypse, Congress is cutting the funding for one of President Obama's pet projects, a group of websites intended to make government data more accessible to the public and show how federal funds were spent.
Congress is slicing funding for the eight sites from $34 million to $2 million, according to the Center For Public Integrity.
The affected sites include public sites likeData.gov, USASpending.gov,PaymentAccuracy.govand five similar sites, as well as internal sites like FedSpace, an intranet site that's supposed to facilitate cross-agency collaboration and information sharing.
"The detrimental effect of [the budget cuts] on so many areas of government is clear—and perhaps no more so than on the efforts to ensure the government's IT infrastructure upgrades are proceeding on schedule and on budget," said Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.), ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, according to the Sunlight Foundation, which works for more openness in government..
"We cannot have a more streamlined, efficient and open government without using the best technology available. Unfortunately the cuts in H.R. 1 to e-government fund will have the unintended consequence of making government less accountable and transparent," he said.
Sunlight asked organizations and grassroots advocates to support its efforts by contacting their lawmakers to ask Congress to maintain current funding levels for these initiatives.
Other security efforts related to cloud computing, which would streamline security authorizations for federal agencies, are expected to be cut as well. Funding for some of the websites is expected to run out as early as April 20.