Support strong to extend PITAC

The President's Information Technology Advisory Committee should continue to support the White House, even though the committee's Feb. 11 termination date has not yet been lifted, officials said.

President Clinton established PITAC in 1997 with an executive order. The group of 30 experts from industry and academia advise the White House on the High-Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC) program, the Next Generation Internet initiative and other information technology matters.

Under the executive order, the committee is scheduled to "turn into a pumpkin" on Feb. 11, Irving Wladawsky-Berger, co-chairman of PITAC, said at the committee's quarterly meeting Wednesday. But talks with the new administration and President Bush have been positive, and "from everything we hear, there has been all indication that the PITAC will be extended," he said.

Paul Domich of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy said that the extension of the executive order simply awaits Bush's signature. He said the PITAC has received strong bipartisan support and the backing of academia and industry.

PITAC publications include a February 1999 report, "Information Technology Research: Investing in Our Future," and an August 2000 report, "Transforming Access to Government Through Information Technology."

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