Davis' 2004 agenda includes IT

House Committee on Government Reform

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Pledging to locate and eliminate waste in the federal government, House Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) outlined an agenda for 2004 that includes several technology-related priorities for the federal government.

Among the technology issues that will come under the committee's oversight are the reorganization of the General Services Administration's Federal Technology Service, implementation of the E-Government Act of 2002, and a review of the Digital Tech Corps and the Government Paperwork Elimination Act, which expired in October 2003.

Davis stressed the need to streamline the federal government and "root out waste, fraud and abuse" in government programs.

"If our aim is to locate the biggest sources of waste in government," Davis said, "we need to look no further than the hundreds of billions of dollars we spend each year on acquiring goods and services, or on ineffective, duplicative government programs. The reality is that waste is marbled throughout the bureaucracy."

He added, "This year, as last year, we'll keep reminding ourselves, 'It's reform, stupid.'"

The committee's plans for continued oversight include agency compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act and further implementation of the Services Acquisition Reform Act (SARA) and the National Security Personnel System (NSPS) for civilian employees of the Defense Department.

Additional oversight of the Homeland Security Department's U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program will also occur in 2004, as well as a review of the Transportation Security Administration's plans for airline passenger screening and air cargo security.

"As we look toward the second session of the 108th Congress, I hope to honor the committee's legislative agenda and oversight responsibility to deliver the highest value to taxpayers, promote the President's Management Agenda and ensure maximum performance from government agencies," Davis said.

In 2003, the committee's legislative actions included enacting SARA and creating NSPS for DOD.

"Enactment of SARA is a huge win for fans of good government," Davis said. "While procurement reform may not be the sexiest issue before Congress, improving the way we acquire goods and services can help make the government leaner, meaner, more responsible and more accountable to taxpayers."

The committee will also touch on food safety issues in 2004, including the recent discovery of mad cow disease in the United States.

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