Reps calm IT industry

Two days after the most chaotic presidential election in U.S. history, two

members of Congress assured the information technology community that the

election impasse would have no long-term impact on high- technology policies

or federal funding for IT programs.

Speaking to the Industry Advisory Council on Nov. 9, Reps. Tom Davis

(R-Va.) and Jim Moran (D-Va.) said they did not expect Congress to focus

on IT issues until a presidential winner is declared.

Moran assured the executives that he did not expect funding cuts in

the "areas you are concerned about" because lawmakers 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 remains unclear who will lead the committees affecting

IT policy. Although he may replace Rep. Stephen Horn (R-Calif.) as chairman

of the Government Reform Committee's Government Management, Information

and Technology Subcommittee, Davis said nothing would be resolved for several

weeks.

The lawmakers said one of their top priorities in the next Congress

is the Cyber Security Information Act. The bill would grant sweeping exemptions

to the Freedom of Information Act so that information about cyberattacks

on private information systems would not be available to the public.

"The federal government can't do [its] job if we don't get this bill

passed," Moran said.

Moran said he would work to kill a bill that would require agencies

to obtain a waiver from the Office of Management and Budget before they

outsource IT work. The bill, the Truthfulness, Responsibility and Accountability

in Contracting Act, would require agencies and industry to compete for the

work. The bill, strongly opposed by IT lobbying groups, would require agencies

to analyze current outsourcing contracts for how much money they save the

government.

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