Bush Continues President's IT Advisory Committee

President Bush last week gave the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee a two-year reprieve from termination.


The executive order authorizing the committee, which advises the president and congressional leaders, expired June 1. Bush's amendment to Executive Order 13035 extends the committee through June 1, 2003, the White House said.


Bush also amended the order to specify term limits for committee appointees. The order now calls for two-year stints on the panel, with an option for the president to extend the term limits. Committee co-chairmen will serve for a two-year period or until their member term ends, whichever is shorter, the White House said.


The terms of members now on the committee will expire Dec. 1, unless Bush decides otherwise.


Setting a specific term for members will ensure fresh ideas, said Irving Wladawsky-Berger, IBM Corp. vice president of technology and strategy. Wladawsky-Berger shares committee chairmanship with Raj Reddy, a computer sciences professor at Carnegie-Mellon University.


Committee members advise the president on topics ranging from the specific application of a technology to policy proposals for data privacy. The committee recommends actions that can be implemented with technology while encouraging research and development, Wladawsky-Berger said.


The committee has 22 members that are drawn from government, industry and academia.


"The job of the federal government is like that of a very wise gardener," Wladawsky-Berger said. "You plant the seeds, pour the water, do a little weeding and sit back and let it grow."

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