Commerce to unveil long-awaited Digital Department plan

Commerce to unveil long-awaited Digital Department plan

FEB. 4—The Commerce Department on Monday will issue its plan to create a paperless environment by 2002. The senior systems staff in August completed a first draft that has since been circulating among Commerce's top managers and awaiting Commerce Secretary William M. Daley's final approval.

Commerce wants to spend $5 million to rewire its headquarters with the fiber-optic backbone needed to carry high-bandwidth traffic for the intranet that is a central element of the Digital Department initiative.

Commerce will post the plan on its Web site, at www.commerce.gov. Also on Monday, Daley will unveil his fiscal 2001 budget request, deputy chief information officer Alan Balutis said. Daley will discuss the department's budget priorities and initiatives at a 1 p.m. news briefing.

Daley in July announced Commerce's plans for creating the Digital Department. He gave CIO Roger Baker and Karen Hogan, who will be director of the new department, 45 days to develop a plan for the project.

After Baker and Hogan finished the plan in late August, Daley's schedule prevented them from presenting it. They didn't meet with the secretary to discuss the plan until mid-November. Commerce officials had scheduled a Dec. 2 news conference to unveil the plan but canceled it because neither Daley nor deputy secretary Robert L. Mallet could attend.

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