Executive order focuses on IT in federal training

President Clinton yesterday signed an executive order designed to encourage agencies to use innovative technology to train federal workers.

The new initiative, announced by Vice President Al Gore at a summit called 21st Century Skills for 21st Century Jobs, creates a task force to provide leadership within the federal government on the effective use of technology. It also calls for agencies to including training technology as a fundamental part of their planning. Janice Lachance, director of the Office of Personnel Management, will oversee this effort.

"Advances in technology and increased skills needs are changing the workplace at an ever-increasing rate," according to Clinton's executive order. "We need to ensure that we continue to train federal employees to take full advantage of these technological advances and to acquire the skills and learning needed to succeed in a changing workplace."

The order calls for the task force to develop within 18 months a policy to make use of technology to improve training opportunities for federal employees. The task force also will be required to work with the Defense Department and the National Institute of Standards and Technology to recommend standards for training software and associated services purchased by federal agencies and contractors.

The executive order can be accessed online at the White House Web site.

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