Group recommends steps for access

PITAC

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The President's Information Technology Advisory Committee released the final version of its recommendations last week on how the government can use IT to become completely accessible to citizens.

The report, "Transforming Access to Government Through Information Technology," is the follow-on to the PITAC's February 1999 report on the IT factors critical to the nation's future. This new report makes three recommendations for how the federal government can best position itself to take advantage of IT:

    * Establish a coordinated research and development program that addresses federal e-government requirements.

    * Create an Office for Electronic Government within the Office of Management and Budget and that has its own funding resources. The office would work with a new Government Information Technology Innovation Program and would support the efforts of the federal Chief Information Officers Council.

    * Establish pilot projects and Enabling Technology Centers to experiment with information integration across government.

The PITAC report recommends using the R&D program to look at issues such as security and privacy, data integration, and the socioeconomic implications of government use of IT. At the same time, the pilot projects and the Enabling Technology Centers would focus on issues such as access for disabled citizens, privacy and security of interaction with the government, and computer-based training for IT workers.

The Office of Electronic Government at OMB is a change from the PITAC's draft of the report, which initially called for a federal CIO. The office would promote innovative IT efforts and policies, and advise the director of OMB on the funding of these efforts, while the Government Information Technology Innovation Program would identify and coordinate work on high-risk IT projects.

The report should be available on the PITAC Web site soon at www.ccic.gov.

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