Congressmen ease IT worries

Two members of Congress assured the information technology community on

Thursday that the impasse over the presidential election would have no long-term

impact on high-tech policies or federal funding for IT programs.

Speaking to the Industry Advisory Council, Reps. Tom Davis (R-Va.) and

Jim Moran (D-Va.) said they didn't expect congressional focus on IT issues

until the presidential race is resolved. "These are not high-priority issues,"

Davis said.

Nevertheless, Moran assured the tech executives that he did not expect

funding cuts in the "areas you are concerned about" because lawmakers are

beginning to understand the importance of technology.

"It's not weapons and bombs. It's computer hacking. It's our computer

infrastructure," Moran said.

Davis said it's important to get members up to speed on high-tech issues

that would help industries and businesses in their districts.

He said it is still unclear who will lead the committees that impact

technology policy. Although Davis himself may become chairman of the House

Government Reform Subcommittee on Information and Technology, he said nothing

will be resolved for several weeks.

Moran spoke out against a bill that would require agencies to obtain

a waiver from the Office of Management and Budget before they outsourced

any IT work to a contractor.

The bill, the Truthfulness, Responsibility and Accountability in Contracting

Act (H.R.3766), would require the federal government to compete the work

between agencies and private firms. It also would require agencies to analyze

current outsourcing contracts for how much money they save the government.

"We need to stop that [bill]," Moran said. "That's not very helpful."

The bill, which has 193 co-sponsors, is supported by government unions

and strongly opposed by IT lobby groups.

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