Federal CIO will lead e-gov

Bush blueprint budget

President Bush will name a federal chief information officer to lead interagency e-government efforts, White House officials said this week.

Although the Bush administration has repeatedly shot down the idea of an information technology "czar," the president will appoint a federal CIO to provide leadership and coordination for e-government initiatives, said Jimmy Orr, a White House spokesman.

The concept of a federal CIO has gained attention from government and industry officials in the past year, with several members of Congress going so far as to introduce legislation to create the position.

The White House has not released details of where the federal CIO will be placed within the administration or who will fill the position.

The CIO's main purpose will be to inject much-needed coordination into the many e-government initiatives under way within federal agencies and to oversee the use of a new $100 million e-government fund Bush proposed in the budget released Feb. 28, Orr said.

The federal CIO will have several functions, including to:

Provide the leadership and coordination needed to create a citizen-centric e-government. Lead the cross-agency councils, such as the federal CIO Council, that coordinate efforts across government. Coordinate e-government initiatives with state and local governments. "There's a need for greater leadership and organization, there's no one person overseeing and coordinating e-government," Orr said.

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