Matching Dollars With Rhetoric

Matching Dollars With Rhetoric

Steve LeSueur

As of yet, the Bush administration has not been as tech friendly as many in the federal technology community had hoped.

The president's budget proposal for 2002 provides only a 1 percent increase in federal IT spending over projected spending for 2001. And while the president is saying all the right things about supporting e-government and information assurance, some wonder, as did ITAA President Harris Miller, "whether the dollars are there to match the rhetoric."

Part of the problem, of course, is that the administration wants to cut government spending, not increase it, and technology programs are just as prone to cuts as others.

Some industry groups also have pressed for the president to establish a governmentwide chief information officer. The president has agreed to give this responsibility to the Office of Management and Budget's deputy director, but proponents of a federal CIO are fearful that technology issues will not be a top priority for a deputy director that already has a full plate of responsibilities.

There are many areas where the administration and industry see eye-to-eye, such as the president's desire to outsource more government tasks to the private sector. And some of the doubts regarding Bush's spending plans and policies are the natural result of the uncertainty whenever there is a change in administration.

If you'd like to know where things are heading, you can read about these issues in two front-page stories. Staff Writer Patience Wait uncovers both good news and bad news ? from industry's point of view - in the administration's budget, while Staff Writer Gail Repsher Emery finds that a compromise may be in the works for creating a federal CIO.


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