Evans wants to merge Commerce's tech, telecom administrations

Commerce Department secretary Don Evans is asking Congress to combine into one agency his department's Technology Administration, National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the e-commerce policy functions of the International Trade Administration.

Evans sent the proposed legislation to Capitol Hill today.

The newly created agency would be called the Technology and Telecommunications Administration.

The change would help the department better serve the technology and telecommunications industries by better coordinating domestic and international policy development, Evans said.

The department currently develops and implements technology and telecommunications policy in three bureaus: the TA, NTIA and ITA.

'This administration understands that our global marketplace has changed and that telecom and technology operate together, not separately. We need to adjust our thinking and adjust our structure to keep pace with the world, our economy and innovation,' Evans said.

The 21st Century Innovation Act of 2003 proposes that the newly created agency would be headed by the undersecretary for technology and telecommunications.

The assistant secretary for communications and information, assistant secretary for technology policy and the director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology would maintain their leadership roles of NTIA, OTP and NIST, respectively.

In addition, the assistant secretary for communications and information would remain the telecommunications adviser to the president.

All four positions must be confirmed by the Senate.

Gail Repsher Emery writes for Washington Technology

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