Commerce Department Announces Plan for Modernization of Technology Agencies

The plan will combine three existing agencies, if approved by Congress.

by / February 19, 2003
Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Secretary of Commerce Don Evans announced his proposal last week for a structural modernization of the Department's formulation of technology and telecom policy.

The new structure will combine the Technology Administration (TA), the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the e-commerce policy functions of the International Trade Administration (ITA) into one consolidated agency.

"Convergence is the business model in the digital economy -- it should be the business model in the federal government," said Secretary Evans. "This administration understands that our global marketplace has changed and that telecom and technology operate together, not separately. We need to adjust our thinking and adjust our structure to keep pace with the world, our economy and innovation."

The Commerce Department currently develops and implements technology and telecommunications policy in three bureaus: the TA, NTIA and ITA. To mirror the recent convergence in the private sector of technology and communications companies, Secretary Evans is proposing to reorganize departmental personnel and management to better coordinate domestic and international policy development for these increasingly interrelated sectors of the economy.

Under the new organizational structure being proposed, the under secretary for Technology would oversee the new agency, which would focus on a range of issues including technical standards, spectrum management, and technology and e-commerce policy issues.

The proposed changes will require congressional approval.

The U.S. Department of Commerce