Federal CIO in Bush's plans

President-elect George W. Bush still intends to appoint a federal chief

information officer, but apparently has no plans to name a cabinet-level

technology secretary, a spokesman for the presidential transition team said.

News reports on Tuesday said Bush was considering creating the White House

position of technology secretary — a post several steps higher in the administration

than the CIO post within the Office of Management and Budget that Bush proposed

in September.

According to Bush's transition team, the president-elect has not changed

his mind about appointing a CIO within OMB.

In September, Bush told Federal Computer Week he would appoint a federal

CIO responsible for leading federal agencies in the creation of a "truly

digital and citizen-centric government." Bush said his CIO would oversee

a $100 million fund for supporting interagency e-government initiatives.

The CIO also would be expected to develop standards, protocols and privacy

protections for e-government at the federal level; head cross-agency efforts

to employ information technology; and collaborate with states on e-government

development, Bush said.

Some proponents of a federal CIO complain that the appointee will be stifled

if placed in OMB. They call instead for an "IT czar" who has direct access

to the president and substantial clout over IT operations throughout the

federal government.

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