FGIPC formsint'l panel onsecure services

The Federation of Government Information Processing Councils (FGIPC) is creating an advisory council made up of officials from federal state local and foreign governments to focus on promoting secure electronic information exchange between different levels of government and U.S. citizens.

FGIPC president Neil Stillman deputy assistant secretary for information resources management at the Department of Health and Human Services said the new group will operate in a manner similar to FGIPC's Industry Advisory Council (IAC) which is composed of private-sector officials. Stillman said he hopes to appoint members to the new council dubbed the Intergovernmental Advisory Board (IAB) within the next two months.

"This is really meant to be a counterbalance to the Industry Advisory Council " Stillman said. "The bylaws have called for this since the beginning of FGIPC."

Stillman said the group would consist of equal representation from federal state and local organizations and that appointments to the group were "moving along a little slower than I hoped." He said he and FGIPC executive vice president Howard Ady want to ensure that state and local organizations are well represented in the group.

"We are basically a federal organization and we need to get more involvement from state and local " Stillman said. "Getting any at all would be an advantage."

Ady director of resource management at the Office of the Secretary of Defense hopes to appoint three to five senior information technology executives from each level of government - federal state and local - as well as two or three from the international community. He said state and local officials are eager to participate.

"They know devolution is coming and it will be accelerating " Ady said. "They are anxious to have a dialogue with the federation because they know we could be a force. They think they can make a difference here."

Jerry Johnson a senior policy analyst in the Texas Department of Information Resources said he believed the formation of IAB was long overdue adding that the group was needed to coordinate programs and get information to citizens. "If we eliminate a lot of the duplication in these programs and provide seamless access to government information that will result in cost savings " he said.

Ady said he envisions a group that will bring together federal officials responsible for endeavors such as HHS grants to state governments and the state employees who must track the grants. The group would provide a forum for states to coordinate their efforts with federal agencies and one another.

The group will receive seed money from the General Services Administration and possibly the National Performance Review. Ady said he also hopes to get contributions from agencies and industry.

IAB's draft charter calls for two annual meetings: one in Washington D.C. with the FGIPC board of directors and IAC members and another held outside Washington at the annual FGIPC Management of Change conference. Ady said he expects IAB to meet for the first time in January 1997.

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