US Secretary of Commerce, Don Evans, announced that he will propose to modernize the structure for the Department's formulation of technology and telecommunications 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 and well-coordinated agency.

"Convergence is the business model of the digital economy - it should be the business model in the federal government," said Secretary Evans. "This administration understands that our global market place 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 Department of Commerce currently develops and implements technology and telecommunications policy in three bureaus: the TA, NTIA and ITA. To complement the recent convergence in the private sector of technology and communication companies, Secretary Evans is proposing to reorganize departmental personnel and management to facilitate coordination in domestic and international policy development for these increasingly inter-related sectors of the economy.

"These changes make sense - for the department, for industry and for the American people," said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Sam Bodman, "and they support the President's focus on improving management and policy coordination across government."

"These organizational changes will institutionalize the effective and productive working relationship that I have developed with TA under the leadership of under secretary Phil Bond, and this also puts in place a workable structure that will benefit our successors in the years to come," said Nancy J. Victory, assistant secretary for communications and information and NTIA administrator. "What matters most is performance and results, and we believe these organizational changes will help us accomplish our jobs and better serve the American people."

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

"The synergy between technology and telecommunications is a global reality," added under secretary of technology Phil Bond. "Bringing TA together with NTIA and a portion of ITA will enhance the Administration's focus on issues critical to our innovation economy and America's technological leadership. We look forward to working with Congress on this proposal." The proposed changes will require congressional approval.