White House sets up task force

The government will increase its efforts to use information technology to improve
training for government employees. To that end, President Clinton this month signed an
executive order forming the President’s Task Force on Federal Training Technology.


Clinton and Vice President Gore announced the training initiative this month at the
two-day Global Forum on Reinventing Government in Washington.


“A coordinated federal effort is needed to provide flexible training opportunities
to employees and explore how federal training programs, initiatives and policies can
better support lifelong learning through the use of learning technology,” the order
said.


Within 18 months, the task force must develop and recommend a policy to use IT to
improve training opportunities for government employees.


The group will look at the use of technology in existing training programs, form
partnerships among federal, state and local agencies, and recommend standards for training
software purchased by agencies.


The order also requires that federal agencies, as part of their annual budget requests,
set goals for providing the “highest quality and most efficient training
opportunities.”


Clinton said the government must keep up with its reinvention efforts.


One of the problems with reinvention is that it gets little attention, no matter how
successful individual efforts might be, he said. In the eyes of the media, Clinton said,
the government’s reinvention efforts are “about as exciting as watching the
paint dry.”


But reinvention only works if it receives a sustained focus, the president said. To the
government officials at the forum, the president said, “I think you should measure
your success in part by whether you have put in a system so integral to the operation of
government” that successors adopt those processes.    

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