Obama calls for federal CTO

Policy experts are split on the potential effectiveness of the executive position

It is standard operating procedure for presidential candidates to promise to change the federal government. Whether they propose cutting the number of contractors or outsourcing more work, candidates like to promise a better-managed government. However, the 2008 election could bring an unprecedented focus on the way the government manages information technology.Democratic hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) raised the subject in a technology policy plan, released Nov. 14, in which he promised to promote greater government transparency, expand the country’s broadband infrastructure and create a new IT leadership position in the federal government.“I will appoint the nation’s first [chief technology officer] to coordinate and make certain that we are always at the forefront of technology and that we are incorporating it into every decision that we make,” Obama said in a speech at Google’s headquarters the same day he released the plan.The CTO’s responsibilities would include working with agency technology officers and chief information officers to share best practices, overseeing the development of an interoperable wireless network for first responders, increasing government transparency by adopting standard electronic document formats, and using IT to let people comment on proposed laws.The plan does not indicate whom the CTO position would report to. Bruce McConnell, president of Government Futures and an Office of Management and Budget official during the Clinton administration, said a federal CTO would probably be an assistant to the president or work at OMB or the Executive Office of the President.Obama’s campaign developed the plan after receiving advice from numerous technology experts, said Beth Simone Noveck, director of New York Law School’s Institute for Information Law and Policy and one of the experts consulted. Early in his administration, President Bush named a federal CTO who had some of the authorities that Obama has proposed. Norman Lorentz held that position from January 2002 until August 2003, when he returned to the private sector. The title was then changed to chief architect.McConnell said Obama’s plan for the CTO position made sense because the primary functions are related to one another.McConnell’s group is examining the presidential candidates’ technology policies and will release its findings in January.Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute, is less enthusiastic about Obama’s plan. Although he supports greater government transparency, he said the CTO role is redundant. But Obama’s advisers said his IT plan, with its support for open document formats, would strengthen existing efforts to enhance government transparency.“This is about setting up a structure to accomplish those values,” Noveck said.

Tech policies of some presidential candidates

Among the 2008 presidential candidates, only Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and John Edwards have released plans related to federal technology and procurement policy. However, some of the other candidates have expressed their views on information technology subjects.

Clinton would:

  • Appoint an assistant to the president for science and technology policy.

  • Strengthen the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

  • Cut half a million government contractor jobs, including IT jobs.


Edwards would:
  • Provide broadband connectivity to all residences in the United States by 2010.

  • Support net neutrality.


Mitt Romney would:
  • Support a permanent moratorium on Internet taxes.

  • Open markets for technology competition.


Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) would:
  • Support a permanent moratorium on Internet taxes.

  • Refocus the mission of the Federal Communications Commission from that of promoting net neutrality to policing anti-competitive behavior, consumer predators and identity theft.


— Wade-Hahn Chan






















X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.