NOVEMBER 12, 1999

Barry Phelps, NPR (202) 694-0007
Steve Cochran, CEG (202) 728-0418


Vice President Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government, Council for Excellence in Government sponsor historic symposium on current climate, barriers, visions for the future, and next steps

Washington, DC (November 12, 1999) -- An unprecedented dialog on the federal government's use and management of information technology began on Tuesday, November 9 with a historic meeting at the Smithsonian Institution's Ripley Conference Center.

The symposium, "Excellence in E-Gov," brought together more than 60 industry, government, non-profit, and academic leaders for a four-hour collaborative session to explore a wide range of information technology and Internet issues facing government and industry.

The symposium on electronic government was sponsored by Vice President Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government (NPR) and the Council for Excellence in Government (CEG). The participants, working in small groups, assessed the current climate; identified barriers to progress; and discussed a shared vision for the future. CEG made a commitment to lead the next phase of the dialog.

"Three, five, 10 years down the road, I think we'll look back on this symposium as a catalytic event in shaping the way we use information technology and the Internet to connect Americans with their government and restore trust in government," said Morley Winnograd, NPR Director and senior policy advisor to Vice President Gore. "I think we've made a quantum leap forward today in partnering with each other so the decisions we make in government are supported by private industry."

"It was all about bringing leaders from the public and private sectors together to brainstorm with the end goal of creating an e-government that delivers all its services electronically," said Pat McGinnis, President and CEO of CEG. "The Council and its Technology Leadership Consortium will be carrying this conversation forward to help make this vision a reality."

McGinnis also praised NPR's Deputy Director for Information Technology, Katie Hirning, for her vision and leadership on information technology issues and for planning the e-gov symposium. In her welcoming remarks, Hirning said, "There are definitely more opportunities out there than barriers. If we keep that in mind as we move forward, nothing can stop us."

The group's private-sector representatives included representatives from AOL, IBM, Microsoft, AT & T, Anderson Consulting, and GTSI. Also participating were chief information officers from the Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, and the Office of Management and Budget.

Steve Cochran, Director of the Council's "Technology Leadership Consortium" said, "The immediate next step will be the formation of cross-sector action teams to implement the vision."

A transcript and other materials summarizing the discussion and conclusions from the symposium will soon be available on the NPR website at and CEG's website,

The National Partnership for Reinventing Government is a White House interagency task force headed by the Vice President. Its mission is to create a government that works better, costs less, and gets results the American people care about. It is the longest-running government reform effort in U.S. history.

The nonpartisan, nonprofit Council for Excellence in Government works to improve the performance of government at all levels, as well as government's place in the lives and esteem of American citizens. CEG believes this country's continued economic and social progress require government to demonstrate creativity, responsiveness, and accountability in managing its tasks, employing a motivated, empowered work force, and retaining public respect and trust.

The public, private, and non-profit members of the Council's Information Technology Leadership Consortium champion the use of information technology as a leadership resource for government.

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