Bush officials support broad e-gov initiatives

Bush officials support broad e-gov initiatives

The Bush administration is looking for ways to successfully implement electronic government, a federal official recently told industry executives.

A key concern for feds, said Bruce P. Mehlman, the assistant secretary for technology policy at the Commerce Department, is making sure the $100 million President Bush has set aside for e-government is spent wisely.

“They will need to know how they are going to use the Web more efficiently and run their operations efficiently,” Mehlman said at the recent conference of the Information Technology Association of America in Orlando, Fla.

Executives at the ITAA conference also expressed concern about electronic commerce and security.

Mehlman said that Mark Forman, the administration’s associate director for IT and e-government at the Office of Management and Budget, plans to use his position to promote growth, innovation and trade.

Another goal is to make sure the Internet is a worldwide duty- and tax-free zone, Mehlman said.

To conduct business electronically, one speaker told conference participants, agencies must make sure their systems are secure.

Open to danger

David H. Langstaff, chief executive officer of Veridian Corp. of Arlington, Va., a security company that serves government and commercial customers, told ITAA that it is “absolutely frightening the number of communities that are in need of protection.”

“Cyberspace is the next battlefield,” Langstaff said, noting that more than 900 Web sites were defaced during hacker attacks from China earlier this year. “You need to identify countermeasures and activate them. This business is not one-size-fits-all.”

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