Alliance: Feds need long-range IT plan

President-elect Barack Obama’s anticipated federal chief technology officer should develop a comprehensive, long-range plan for government information technology that is flexible, neutral and protects citizens’ privacy, according to the Business Software Alliance.

The federal CTO, Congress and the Obama administration also should promote e-government programs for greater citizen access, transparent and open procurements, and reforms to the H-1B visa and green card immigration systems, the alliance says.

The alliance published recommendations for Obama’s CTO on Dec. 10 and a 2009 Technology Policy Agenda on Dec. 11.

In addition to formulating the plan for government information technology, the CTO should look broadly at the nation’s long-term IT needs in health care, education, environmental protection, Internet connectivity and public safety.

“Given the key role of information and communications technologies in carrying out the government’s mission, the federal CTO will naturally focus a great deal of attention on short-term federal IT management,” BSA President Robert Holleyman said in a statement. “But the federal CTO should be a true CTO – a visionary who helps the government anticipate and make the most of technology trends.”

The BSA’s other federal IT policy suggestions include:

  • Cybersecurity: Federal IT executives must be empowered and accountable, and vulnerabilities are identified and addressed.
  • Software assurance: Government and industry must work together to ensure that government procures secure software and hardware;
  • Critical infrastructure: The public/private partnership that protects the nation’s critical cyber infrastructure must be reformed and strengthened. It also must be given enhanced detection and response capabilities, a common understanding of the private sector’s responsibilities, and greater transparency and trust.

The alliance represents Adobe Systems Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., IBM Corp., Microsoft Corp. and other software makers.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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