Gartner report urges Bush to appoint a federal CIO

Gartner report urges Bush to appoint a federal CIO

By William Jackson

GCN Staff

APRIL 3—A report on federal information technology policies by Gartner Inc. of Stamford, Conn., recommends that President Bush appoint a federal chief information officer, a cabinet-level technology czar who would report directly to the president.

The paper, released last week, concluded that a coherent IT policy is needed to ensure the nation's continued economic health. 'The top priority of the new administration in establishing IT policy should be the creation of a federal CIO,' said French Caldwell, research director for Gartner's Project of Technology and Public Policy.

The paper predicts that electronic government could eliminate 30 percent of current government programs and 25 percent of agencies, and said a federal CIO at the cabinet level is needed to manage this shift.

Gartner also called for greater attention to and funding for law enforcement in the digital world and more protection of privacy.

Voting reform also should be a top priority for government, and money is needed by next year to ensure antiquated systems are replaced in time for the 2004 presidential election, the report said. The president, as well as governors and prominent legislators, could help overcome political resistance to online voting by setting a personal example and casting their votes electronically in the next election, the report said.

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