Bush extends PITAC's existence

"Digital Libraries: Universal Access to Human Knowledge"

The White House's top private-sector panel on technology matters lives onas President Bush signed an executive order extending its expiration date.

Just beating the deadline, Bush on Sunday extended the President's InformationTechnology Advisory Committee for a little more than three months.

The PITAC, a group of 30 information technology experts from industry andacademia, was formed in 1997 under an executive order signed by PresidentClinton in 1999. Clinton's order called for the PITAC to shut down at midnightFeb. 11. Bush's executive order extends that deadline to June 1.

The committee advised Clinton on many matters, including advocating theuse of open-source software and the need for centralized management of ITwithin the federal government.

Co-chairmen Irving Wladawsky-Berger and Raj Reddy said they intended forthe PITAC to continue in that advisory role under Bush.

Last week, the committee released drafts of three new reports on the needfor digital libraries to enable universal access to library collectionsworldwide, and on how to use IT to transform health care and education practicesin the United States.

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