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Standards selected by affinity groups with technical assistance and possible facilitation by the lead agency or by the GITS working group;


An interagency fund for innovative IT programs;


A ready source of expert, objective advice for complex system acquisitions;


Central collection of information, as needed, to support government-wide priority setting, information sharing, cross-agency and cross-affinity-group coordination, and infrastructure investment optimization; and


A fast, equitable way of handling contract disputes.

Third, improvement in government and private sector cooperation (e.g., via extended affinity groups) is required to achieve a more timely acquisitions process; a more responsive standards process; open-access interoperability between NII and GSII services providers; and revision of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) to provide relief for some activities with regard to the GSII and NII to encourage rather than to discourage such cooperation. The FACA can often discourage government activities from utilizing academia, industry, and other private sector organizations in developing priorities and goals for designing and implementing the GSII and ensuring that the GSII is an integral component of the NII.

Lastly, continued dialogue on the direction of development and deployment of the GSII—especially relative to its superset, the NII—via the WWW implementation of the GSII Plan, is needed to ensure convergence of these two very important national resources and to achieve the optimum "range of interoperability" and the maximum benefit that one could expect from such a complex and diverse infrastructure.


1. Toffler, Alvin. 1980. The Third Wave. William Morrow & Company, New York, pp. 233, 262, and 404–415.

2. Information Infrastructure Task Force. 1993. The National Information Infrastructure: Agenda for Action. Information Infrastructure Task Force, Washington, D.C., September 15.

3. Office of the Vice President. From Red Tape to Results: Creating a Government That Works Better and Costs Less. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., September.

4. Committee on Applications and Technology (CAT), Information Infrastructure Task Force Committee. 1994a. Putting the Information Infrastructure to Work. Information Infrastructure Task Force, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C. Also, Committee on Applications and Technology (CAT), Information Infrastructure Task Force. 1994b. The Information Infrastructure: Reaching Society's Goals. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., September.

5. Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, National Research Council. 1994. Realizing the Information Future: The Internet and Beyond. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., May.

6. Aiken, R.J., and J.S. Cavallini. 1994. "Standards: Too Much of a Good Thing?," Connexions—The Interoperability Report 8(8) and ACM StandardView 2(2).

7. U.S. Department of Energy. 1993. Positioning the Electric Utility to Build Information Infrastructure. DOE/ER-0638, Department of Energy, Washington, D.C., November.

8. Acquisition Working Group. 1994. Analysis of POST-FTS2000 Acquisition Alternatives. Interagency Management Council, Washington, D.C., September.

9. Federal Internetworking Requirements Panel. 1994. Report of the Federal Internetworking Requirements Panel. National Institute of Standards and Technology, Washington, D.C., May 31.

10. Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology, Office of Science and Technology Policy. 1991. Grand Challenges: High Performance Computing and Communications, The FY 92 U.S. Research and Development Program. Committee on Physical, Mathematical, and Engineering Sciences, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Washington, D.C., February 5.

11. GITS Working Group. 1994. Vision for Government Information Technology Services and the NII. GITS Working Group, Washington, D.C., July.

12. See

13. Toffler, The Third Wave, 1980.

14. Gore, Albert. 1993. Creating a Government That Works Better & Costs Less: Reengineering Through Information Technology. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., September 1993.

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