Gore's VP choice is big on federal systems issues

Gore's VP choice is big on federal systems issues

By Shruti Dat'

GCN Staff

The public fanfare over Sen. Joseph Lieberman's vice presidential candidacy has overlooked the Connecticut Democrat's focus on federal information technology.

As ranking Democrat of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, Lieberman has championed the effective implementation of IT in government.

'It is time for a high-tech agenda that moves beyond the narrow focus of short-term industry wants to also concentrate on long-term national needs'investing in new ideas and technologies,' he said last month at a Progressive Policy Institute event.

Lieberman's collaboration with the committee's chairman, Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.), has resulted in several pieces of bipartisan IT legislation.

The Senate recently passed the pair's Government Information Security Act, S 1993, which was attached as a rider to the fiscal 2001 Defense Department authorization bill, HR 4205.

The security bill would require all agencies to develop agencywide information security programs that would be independently evaluated each year.

Lieberman and Thompson also closely monitor implementation of IT legislation, such as the IT Management Reform Act, in oversight hearings and through direct inquiries to agencies.

Lieberman also recently asked the General Accounting Office to examine agencies' use of IT to formulate and enforce rules.

In May, Lieberman and Thompson launched a Web site, at cct.georgetown.edu/development/eGov, that they call an experiment in interactive legislation [GCN, July 24, Page 62]. It asks the public to comment on electronic-government initiatives, such as a governmentwide chief information officer proposal, public Internet access and federal systems' interoperability.

Such interaction between government and citizens will lead to an effective e-government agenda, Lieberman said at last month's e-Gov 2000 conference in Washington.

Republican presidential nominee George W. Bush, who has said he would appoint the deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget as governmentwide CIO, selected former Defense secretary Richard B. Cheney as his running mate [GCN, June 19, Page 6].

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