Call for IT czar gets high-level boost
- By Paula Shaki Trimble
- May 19, 2000
A presidential advisory committee's draft report on transforming government
advocates a federal chief information officer who would be responsible for
interagency information technology projects.
The final report of the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee's
Subcommittee on Transforming Government is due in September. It is designed
to develop a long-range strategy for using IT to transform government and
simplify the public's transactions with government agencies.
Herbert Schorr, a subcommittee member and executive director of the University
of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute, provided an overview
of the draft report at the dg.o (DigitalGovernment.Org) 2000 conference
Wednesday in Los Angeles. The conference highlighted National Science Foundation-funded
research in digital government and aimed to partner government agencies,
academic researchers and industry on future projects.
One of the draft report's recommendations is that the administration and
Congress should support and expand on the federal CIO Council and create
a federal CIO position with funding to coordinate interagency efforts, Schorr
"Multiagency projects need one federal CIO," Schorr said about the oft-debated
topic of creating a federal IT czar. "Something needs to be done to handle
the stovepipe situation."
Agencies tend to spend all of their IT money internally, but there needs
to a balance similar to what the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
has done to solicit research from outside organizations, Schorr said.
"A federal CIO could bring that balance" by requiring upfront investment
in IT research, he said.