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'Dot Force' Appointees<@VM>Agencies Slow to Comply<@VM>Trade Commission Training

By Kerry Gildea

President Clinton Nov. 22 appointed three officials to a new Digital Opportunity Taskforce, called the "Dot Force."

The Dot Force, created by Clinton and the Group of 8 leaders at the Okinawa Summit last summer, is tasked to devise a strategy to bridge the global digital divide. The Group of 8 is composed of the world's major industrial nations.

The new Dot Force officials include: Carleton Fiorina, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Co., Palo Alto, Calif.; Zoe Baird, president of the Markle Foundation; and Thomas Kalil, special assistant to the president for economic policy.Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., Oct. 20 released a report showing that federal agencies are not fully complying with the Clinger-Cohen Act, a 1996 information technology management law.

The act requires agencies to make sound investment decisions before buying IT systems and was a result of the Government Affairs Committee's reviews of failed computer system acquisitions.

"The report reveals what we feared the most ? that the administration is not enforcing the laws that Congress passed over four years ago," Thompson said in a statement. "The next president will be faced with many management challenges, including this one, so I hope this is the wake-up call that's needed. The next administration must focus on managing government information technology systems, so we can help agencies meet their goals and improve taxpayer services."

The report shows 16 agencies neither developed nor submitted IT management reports that included accomplishments, progress and identification of areas requiring attention. One quarter of agencies listed projects that deviated significantly from cost or schedule goals.The Federal Trade Commission plans to meet with government officials in a two-day workshop Dec. 11-12 to educate them about emerging wireless technologies.

The workshop will to provide government officials and other interested parties a forum for discussion on privacy and security and consumer protection issues raised by the new technology, the FTC said.

The FTC said it wants to help government officials understand the status of wireless Internet and data technology today and where it is going. In the area of privacy and security, several topics will be addressed including the newly emerging self-regulatory initiatives in the high-tech industry, FTC noted.

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