Clinton panel calls for e-gov office
- By Diane Frank
- Sep 11, 2000
The President's Information Technology Advisory Committee has issued a report
recommending establishing an Office of Electronic Government (OEG) within
the Office of Management and Budget that would report directly to the president
but also have close working ties with agency IT representatives on the CIO
This report follows up on President Clinton's December 1999 memorandums
calling for agencies to take certain steps to move to an electronic government.
It also comes on the heels of several bills in Congress and discussions
within agencies and the administration about the merits of putting in place
a federal CIO vs. enhancing the authority of OMB.
"The mission of this new office would be to promote innovative IT efforts
and policies across the federal government," wrote PITAC co-chairmen Raj
Reddy and Irving Wladawsky-Berger in a letter to President Clinton.
There are two bills in the House from Reps. Jim Turner (R-Texas) and
Tom Davis (R-Va.) focusing on the idea of a federal CIO. Rep. Stephen Horn
(R-Calif.), chairman of the House Government Reform Committee's Government
Management, Information and Technology Subcommittee, will be holding a hearing
this week on those two bills, according to committee spokeswoman Bonnie
Under the PITAC's recommendations, the e-government office would have
funds for research and development proj- ects across agency lines. But the
PITAC does not believe a federal CIO, also often called an "IT czar," would
be the appropriate way for the government to address the problem.
"Rather than having decision-making authority and control like an "information
technology czar,' the OEG should have a service mandate that enables agency
and cross-agency innovation through incentives and budget push-ups," the
Other federal organizations, such as the CIO Council, will also be looking
at the actions on Capitol Hill and within the administration to move forward
with the concept, said W. Todd Grams, acting chief financial officer at
the Department of Veterans Affairs, at a government conference in Williamsburg,
Va., last week.