Senate considers Spotila for OIRA

The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee today questioned the Clinton administration's nominee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs on how much he would push agencies to comply with management and information technology reform laws.

Senators asked John Spotila, the nominee for administrator of OIRA in the Office of Management and Budget, how willing he was to enforce the Government Performance and Results Act and the Paperwork Reduction Act, two pieces of legislation that affect the procurement and use of IT.

"I really do think this needs to be the first day...where we really focus on the some of these problem areas" such as GPRA and the Paperwork Reduction Act, said Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the committee. Thompson said there is evidence that agencies are not meeting the acts' requirements.

Thompson said he wanted a review taken to determine if agencies are complying with GPRA and said more needs to be done to hold agencies accountable.

Spotila, who is counselor to the deputy director for management at OMB, said he planned to focus on agencies' compliance but added that the administration and Congress need to work together to make progress.

"We need better information to get better regulation. And I really think, by extension, agencies are all beginning to realize that as they improve in the area of information technology, they are better able to meet their responsibility to improve performance," Spotila told FCW after the hearing.

Spotila, who previously was general counsel to the Small Business Administration for five years, said he plans to focus on policy issues, privacy, encryption and electronic commerce.

The committee plans to vote on Spotila's appointment by the middle of May.

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