Fall 2007 Course Description

Policy Research Project

Section Title: Effects of E-Government on Federal Management & Oversight
Instructor(s): Sherri Greenberg
Course: P A 682A - Policy Research Project
Unique Number: 65465
Day & Time: Tuesdays, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Room: SRH 3.106
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information

This course fulfills requirements for the following specialization(s):

Description: This Congressional Research Service-funded research project analyzes electronic government (?e-government?), one of the leading approaches to government reform, in federal agencies. E-government involves the integration of information technology with government processes in an effort to reorganize around similar federal functions, or Lines of Business (LoB), and eliminate the so-called ?stove pipes? that separate them. Proponents typically emphasize the benefits of e-government initiatives in terms of their anticipated effectiveness, efficiency, and economic returns. However, the technology employed to better integrate government processes also is contributing to growing concerns in Congress regarding the level of appropriations for e-government, and the level of congressional oversight.

E-government is one of the primary oversight jurisdictions of both the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. An analytical study that evaluates the technology-driven evolution of government management structures could help Congress with its oversight activities. A key question is whether e-government is transforming federal government management.

The purpose of this PRP is to analyze at least three of the federal Lines of Business (LoB) initiatives. The study would consider to what degree the LoBs are centralizing and standardizing government operations, and what effect this is having, if any, on management within the federal government. Some areas of potential relevance include the adoption of technical standards, project development and management, measurement of benefits/outcomes, and lessons learned through implementation. Other issues to explore include whether consolidation really improves business performance, and whether standardization of functions necessarily leads to centralization of management and operations.

The analysis will rely on relevant documents, interviews with select federal agency officials, an online survey of approximately forty federal officials and other sources. Groups of students will travel to Washington D.C. to conduct interviews. The project will provide relevant information to be used in responding to requests from Congress and writing anticipatory reports for legislation.

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