Loss of four public-sector experts raises questions about industry group's future direction.
The lobbying team for industry group TechAmerica has moved over to the Information Technology Industry Council, beefing up that organization's lobbying efforts as part of a new public sector group.
TechAmerica's most senior public procurement lobbyists -- Trey Hodgkins, Erica McCann, Pam Walker and Carol Henton -- are now part of ITI's new Information Technology Alliance for Public Sector (ITAPS). In their new jobs, they will focus on technology procurement and regulatory issues at the federal, state and local level, according to an ITI statement on Nov. 5.
"ITI is increasingly at the forefront of a number of policy initiatives that shape how the U.S. public sector utilizes technology, and ITAPS will be an innovative complement to those efforts," said Hodgkins, now ITI's senior vice president for the public sector. ITI did not immediately provide exact job titles for Henton, McCann or Walker.
The departure of Hodgkins, McCann, Henton and Walker from TechAmerica would seem to leave that organization at a crossroads. Aside from the departures, The Huffington Post recently reported that the group has lost more than 75 clients since July, including some of the information industry's biggest names. Calls by FCW to TechAmerica for comment were not returned.
ITI's members include Apple, Adobe, Akamai, EBay, Lenovo, Ricoh, Samsung, Symantec, Teradata and Verisign.
Hodgkins, a long-time technical and policy expert at TechAmerica, said in ICI's statement that it "has been an honor and a privilege to serve at TechAmerica." He demurred on further explanation in a Nov. 5 conference call with reporters, however. During the call Hodgkins said his new job would focus on homeland security, national security, procurement and acquisition, state and local issues, and federal/civilian issues. The California-based Henton, he said, would work with companies in Silicon Valley, while Walker would concentrate on homeland security and McCann would deal with procurement/acquisition.
"ITI's mission is to be a global advocacy organization with impact, influence, and power commensurate with the dynamism and innovativeness of the tech sector," said ITI President and CEO Dean Garfield. "With ITAPS, the organization is now positioned to enable governments to wisely set tech policy, and how it buys and uses technology to better deliver government programs and services."
The convergence of advancing technologies, said Hodgkins, has presented an increasingly complicated operating theater for government agencies. Hodgkins said he hoped to help government agencies navigate the confluence of big data, wireless, the cloud, cybersecurity and other technologies. He said the troubled launch of the HealthCare.gov website showed that government procurement practices for IT systems and services is ripe for reform, something he also championed while at TechAmerica.
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