Bush rescinds order that created CIO Council

President Bush has rescinded the 1996 executive order that created the Chief Information Officers Council and laid out federal goals for the streamlining of information technology procurement and implementation.

Executive Order 13011, signed by President Clinton, was linked to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and the Information Technology Management Reform Act of 1996.

An Office of Management and Budget spokeswoman said the key provisions of the order had been codified in the Electronic Government Act of 2002.

Some observers, however, said they suggested that perhaps the Bush administration is laying the groundwork for changes.

"The Bush administration may just be cleaning up an executive order that is overtaken by events," in that all of its provisions are now reflected in other laws or in common practice, said consultant Paul Brubaker.

However, he added, "Getting rid of the EO could give the administration some flexibility in the ability to eliminate the CIO Council and the [Government Information Technology Services] Board, or at least come up with another, perhaps more effective, governance structure."

The GITS Board in particular is a holdover from the days before the 1996 IT management law. It "is really a function that the law says OMB should perform," Brubaker said.

Alan Chvotkin, senior vice president and counsel at the Professional Services Council, said he was perplexed by Bush's action.

“Clearly some of those issues have been overtaken by events, but some of it still has some viability," he said. "It doesn't make a lot of sense."

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