The Republican leadership has selected Virginian Tom Davis, who sponsored the E-Government Act of 2002 recently signed by President Bush, to chair the House Government Reform Committee that oversees federal IT issues. Davis, moves up from being chairman of the committee’s IT and Procurement Policy subcommittee. He replaces Rep. Dan Burton (R.-Ind.), whose Republican-mandated six-year term as chairman had expired.
Davis is expected to take an active role in the federal IT buying process, including, according to one report, folding his former subcommittee into the main committee in order to maintain his oversight authority in procurements.
“If our aim is to locate the biggest sources of waste in government, we need look no further than the hundreds of billions of dollars we spend each year on acquiring needed goods and services, or on ineffective, duplicative government programs. But too often we look for fat as though it came wrapped in neat, tidy packages; too often we cut off fingers and toes,” Davis said. “The reality is that waste is marbled throughout the bureaucracy. It rests within regulations that never should have been written, in filling out forms that should not have been printed, in procurements so complex that our under-trained contracting officers cannot properly manage them.”
The former vice president and general counsel for government IT contractor PRC, now a part of Northrup Grumman, Davis served as the chief elected officer of Fairfax County, the heart of the Northern Virginia technology corridor in the Washington suburbs, before being elected to Congress in the mid-1990’s.
In addition to the E-Government Act, Davis also shepherded through Congress the Federal Information Security Management Act and the Critical Infrastructure Information Act. He serves as one of four co-chairs of the Information Technology Working Group, a group he founded to promote a better understanding of issues important to the computer and technology industries.
In May 1999 he sponsored the Y2K Act, legislation which ensured that businesses spent their money on Y2K compliance. He was the recipient of the Electronic Industry Alliance’s 1999 Congressional Technology Policy Award and was inducted into the American Electronics Association’s High Tech Hall of Fame in Spring 2000.