Commerce plans to go all-digital

Commerce Secretary Bill Daley yesterday announced that he plans to move the Commerce Department from a "paper-based bureaucracy" to an all-digital department in three years.

"I want to build a department that conducts personnel actions and procurement and as much internal business as feasible on a secure intranet," Daley said at the Electronic Government show in Washington, D.C. "I am setting a goal: By 2002, the Commerce Department will be truly an E-Commerce Department."

Daley said he asked Roger Baker, Commerce's chief information officer, and Karen Hogan, the new director of the Digital Department office, to report back to him within 45 days with a plan for the next three years.

The department will face many challenges in building a digital department, Daley said, including budget restraints. However, changing the department culture may be the biggest obstacle to achieving the digital goal. "We need to change more than forms," Daley said. "We will also have to change our culture."

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