Execs upbeat that initiatives will continue in second Clinton term

President Clinton's second term in office spells stability and solid prospects for the information technology industry.

That is the analysis of a number of systems integration executives interviewed recently. Clinton's re-election avoids the procurement dislocations that often come with a change in administrations executives said. They also believe the Clinton administration will follow through on IT-friendly initiatives such as the National Performance Review and the National Information Infrastructure.

John Lacopo corporate vice president of government affairs at Electronic Data Systems Corp. said he believes the Clinton administration's technology policies and philosophies also will continue on track. He said the administration has promoted the use of technology as a means for boosting federal productivity.

He also said the administration has been willing to embrace ideas such as the NII and the Internet and take on policies such as encryption.

"From a philosophical standpoint the administration came in with a more youthful approach as to how government is going to work " he said. "That obviously will continue."

Lacopo added that Clinton's re-election averts the typical nine- to 12-month procurement lag associated with a change in administrations.

Mark Filteau president of DynCorp's Information and Engineering Technology business unit expects to see a continuation of industry trends such as multiple award task-order contracts and "solutions buys" such as the Defense Department's Standard Procurement System.

A potential source of instability is the departure of Cabinet officials. But Filteau said those changes would have little short-term impact on IT companies. "We typically don't feel the impact of a new secretary for about a year " he said. He said Schedule C appointees and members of the Senior Executive Service typically drive procurements not Cabinet heads.

Executives said a Democratic White House and Republican Congress will not create the same sort of deadlock that hurt IT vendors in 1995-1996.

"I don't see the kind of rancor that we've seen before " said Edward Bersoff president and chief executive officer of BTG Inc. "I'm very optimistic."

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