EPA outlines plan for new IT office

The Environmental Protection Agency today unveiled its plan for a new Information Office, to be headed by its chief information officer, that will direct information technology, data collection and information dissemination for the agency.

The plan, ordered last fall by EPA administrator Carol Browner, is designed to support ongoing efforts by the agency to integrate its databases, improve the quality of information it publishes online, reduce the paperwork burden on the companies it regulates and promote an agencywide IT infrastructure, according to briefing materials distributed by EPA following a meeting with employees.

Under the CIO, three new offices would handle information collection, IT services and information analysis and access.

The Office of Information Collection would oversee records management policies, electronic reporting programs and interagency data-sharing initiatives.

The Office of Information Technology Services would be responsible for IT strategic planning, security and management of EPA's information systems.

The Office of Information Analysis and Access would be in charge of the agency's online information dissemination programs, including the Envirofacts data warehouse and the Toxics Release Inventory database.

Browner still must approve the plan, which she is expected to do next month. An EPA spokeswoman said some staff appointments for the new office had been made. Other sources familiar with the plan said the CIO slot, which is currently held by Al Pesachowitz, had not yet been filled.

Neither Pesachowitz nor other EPA officials could be reached for comment. According to the briefing materials, the management team for the new office will be selected by August, and the office itself will be launched by September.

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