Commerce forming tech policy agency

Technology Administration

Commerce Department Secretary Donald Evans announced plans Feb. 13 to consolidate the telecommunications and technology policy functions within the department under a new agency.

The agency will consist of the Technology Administration, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and the e-commerce policy functions of the International Trade Administration.

Phil Bond, the undersecretary for technology at Commerce, would oversee the new agency. It would focus on various issues including technical standards, spectrum management, and technology and e-commerce policy issues. Evans said the restructuring, which will require congressional approval, makes sense. "Convergence is the business model in the digital economy — it should be the business model in the federal government," he said in a statement.

The Information Technology Association of America, which represents many IT vendors that sell to the federal government, praised the proposal. "Issues surrounding the Internet, spectrum and electronic commerce are highly inter-related," and they are global in nature, ITAA President Harris Miller said in a statement.

This restructuring would help IT firms better serve their customers, he said.

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