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Bush appoints e-government tsar

President George W Bush is to appoint Karen Evans, chief information officer at the US Department of Energy and an experienced government IT professional, to become the new head of the administration's e-government initiatives.

Evans, a 20-year veteran of the government IT community, will succeed Mark Forman, who left the post of administrator of the Office of Electronic Government at the White House's Office of Management and Budget last month. 

Before becoming CIO at the Energy Department, Evans served at the Department of Justice as assistant director for information services and division director for information systems management. She has also been deputy director for applications management at the US Department of Agriculture. 

Jim Kane, president and chief executive officer of Federal Sources, a research and analysis firm focusing on the federal IT market, said Evans' appointment could help advance the government's IT agenda. 

"Karen is the right person in the right job at the right time," said Kane. "Mark [Forman] was the visionary, the change agent. But things are now at the stage where somebody like Karen, who has a strong operational perspective, is the right person to make things happen." 

The administration's quick move to find a replacement for Forman also underscores the priority of its e-government efforts, according to Kane. The timing of the appointment coincides with one of the most critical spending and budgeting times for the government.

Spending in September traditionally can account for as much as a quarter of the government's overall IT budget, because agencies must begin submitting funding requests for new budgets in October and must spend any remaining money.

Dan Verton writes for Computerworld


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