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White House Opposes Senate Approval For E-Government Job

The process only slows down the system, says Mark Forman, associate director for IT and E-government at the OMB.
The Bush administration opposes a provision in a bill before the Senate that would require Senate confirmation of an E-government administrator.

"We don't want more Senate-confirm jobs; it slows down the system," Mark Forman, associate director for IT and E-government at the Office of Management and Budget, said Friday. The bill, known as the E-Government Act of 2002 and approved by the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee on Thursday, would, in effect, make Forman's job a post requiring Senate confirmation. "Our focus isn't on titles," he said, "but on how to get the work done." A vote by the full Senate isn't expected until differences between its sponsor, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D.-Conn., and the Bush administration are resolved.

The bill's provision for an E-government administrator is seen as a compromise by advocates who support the creation of a federal CIO post. If a federal CIO job is established, Forman says, the administration favors giving that role to OMB's deputy director for management, a job that not only requires Senate confirmation, but has been vacant since the beginning of the Bush administration.