One of the three White House IT priorities called out in the 2016 budget request, Digital Services may be the first IT casualty of partisan politics. A series of agencies have reported that their 2016 budget pass backs include a big goose egg in funding for Digital Services. We’ve asked the question of OMB – seems that’s the case. The next question – what’s the future for Digital Services with no funding?
It’s no surprise that Republicans don’t like the idea of the Federal government getting into the state and local business – providing services directly to citizens and growing the Federal budget footprint. Let’s face it, the launch of healthcare.gov was certainly diseased.
Each cabinet-level agency was directed by OMB to ask for $9 million for Digital Services. These agencies built out plans for how to implement those Digital Services. Right now, they’re wondering if that whole effort was a huge waste of time and money.
If Digital Services faces a dollar drought, what’s the path forward? Will OMB find additional funding from another budget bucket? Should agencies focus on self-funding models – perhaps charging America a fee-for-service model? Will this drive a series of no-cost contracts? Dozens of questions out here on the digital frontier. Here’s hoping Digital Services makes it out of the neonatal intensive-care unit.