Putnam to leave Government Reform for Rules Committee

Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.), the force behind much of Congress' oversight of federal IT during the last two years, is moving from the House Government Reform Committee to the Rules Committee, effective today.

Putnam will replace Rep. Porter Goss, another Florida Republican, who left the committee and his Capital Hill office last week to become CIA director.

Since January 2003, Putnam had been the chairman of the Government Reform subcommittee on technology, information policy, intergovernmental relations and the census.

No decision has been made on whether Putnam's position on Government Reform will be filled during the remaining three months of the 108th Congress, committee spokesman Drew Crockett said. Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) is the vice chairwoman of the subcommittee, but three other members outrank her: Reps. Edward Schrock (R-Va.), John Duncan (R-Tenn.) and Nathan Deal (R-Ga.).

During his tenure on the subcommittee, Putnam held more than 30 hearings on key IT topics, including the Quicksilver e-government projects, the role of federal CIOs, security, enterprise architecture, and investment control and planning. He also published two agency cybersecurity report cards and pressed industry for more accountability on systems security.

Most recently, Putnam sponsored an amendment to the House's 9/11 legislation to require that cybersecurity be included throughout the systems planning and development process.

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), Government Reform's chairman, "appreciates all of Mr. Putnam's hard work as subcommittee chairman," Crockett said. "He is sorry to see Mr. Putnam leave and wishes him the best of luck."

The Rules Committee is considered a powerful committee because it sets the schedule for the bills that come up for debate and the length of debate. Government sources speculated that the move could bode well for IT and e-government issues because of Putnam's understanding of their importance.

Dave McClure, vice president of the Council for Excellence in Government, said Putnam's oversight agenda has brought a focus on systems and IT management to Congress that was rarely seen before.

"Chairman Putnam brought a very common-sense line of questioning about what is going on with agency IT management," McClure said. "This will impact the IT agenda."

Putnam was elected to the House in November 2000 and became the youngest member to lead a subcommittee. Before that he had served in the Florida House of Representatives for four years.

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