Position paper urges presidential focus on IT

Position paper urges presidential focus on IT

By Tony Lee Orr

GCN Staff

DEC. 1'The first advice in what will likely be a flurry of recommendations for the new president'whoever he may be'urges the chief executive to embrace performance-based governing and to appoint a governmentwide chief information officer.

About 140 government and industry leaders contributed to a bipartisan position paper, cosponsored by the Reason Public Policy Institute and several commercial and educational groups. The paper, Transitioning to Performance-based Government, and full transcripts of focus groups appear on the institute's Web site at www.rppi.org/t2g.html.

The paper emphasizes the importance of information technology in performance-based governing. It calls for the new president to form a clear vision of electronic government and be prepared, for example, to name a government reorganization commission.

'There is a need for a national CIO or a secretary of technology,' one focus group participant said, 'to focus national strategy and policy for technology and also to strengthen the role of department CIOs.' The transcript did not attribute quotes to specific participants, although all were named.

Participants urged the new president to emphasize the importance of IT to his political appointees and to elevate the CIO position to a more powerful place at the management table.

At least one participant maintained that all political appointees should have an IT background so that they 'understand the vision and know where government is trying to go, and understand the possibilities of what can be accomplished.'

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