OMB appoints technology czar

Office of Management and Budget Director Mitch Daniels has appointed Mark Forman, a vice president for e-business at Unisys Corp., to the newly created position of associate director for information technology and e-government. OMB announced that Forman will report to the OMB deputy director for management, who will serve as the federal chief information officer. The deputy director for management position has yet to be filled. Forman will act as "the leading federal e-government executive," according to a statement released by OMB. "He will also lead the development and implementation of federal information technology policy." Forman will oversee the e-government fund proposed by President Bush in his fiscal 2002 budget. The fund is designed to spur innovative technology efforts across agencies. Forman will also direct the activities of the CIO Council, made up of agency CIOs, and will advise on the appointments of future CIOs. Forman essentially fulfills all the duties of an overarching CIO for the government without actually holding the title. "It's not an incoherent strategy," said Carl DeMaio, director of government redesign at the Reason Public Policy Institute and a former adviser to Bush's presidential campaign. The deputy director for management will have a role in technology issues, DeMaio said, but now there will be an additional person focusing solely on technology concerns, leaving the deputy director free to fulfill other duties such as overseeing contracting and procurement issues. Forman oversees e-business and e-government initiatives of two business units of Unisys. He previously worked in the public sector division of IBM Global Services, and as a senior staff member on the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee. Forman was also a senior adviser to the Senate on information technology issues. Forman will begin work at OMB on June 25.
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