While the private sector will build and run virtually all of the National Information Infrastructure (NII), the President and the Vice President have stated clearly that the Federal government has a key leadership role to play in its development. Accordingly, the White House formed the Information Infrastructure Task Force (IITF) to articulate and implement the Administration's vision for the NII. The task force consists of high-level representatives of the Federal agencies that play a major role in the development and application of information technologies. Working together with the private sector, the participating agencies will develop comprehensive telecommunications and information policies that best meet the needs of both the agencies and the country. By helping build consensus on thorny policy issues, the IITF will enable agencies to make and implement policy more quickly and effectively.

A high-level Advisory Council on the National Information Infrastructure has been established by Executive Order to provide advice to the IITF. It will consist of representatives of the many different stakeholders in the NII, including industry, labor, academia, public interest groups, and state and local governments. The Secretary of Commerce will appoint the 25 members of the advisory committee.

The IITF is working closely with the High Performance Computing, Communications, and Information Technology (HPCCIT) Subcommittee of the Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology (FCCSET), which is chaired by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The HPCCIT Subcommittee provides technical advice to the IITF and coordinates Federal research activities that support development of the National Information Infrastructure.


All the key agencies involved in telecommunications and information policy are represented on the task force. The task force operates under the aegis of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Economic Council. Ron Brown, the Secretary of Commerce, chairs the IITF, and much of the staff work for the task force will be done by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the Department of Commerce.


To date, three committees of the IITF have been established:

(1) Telecommunications Policy Committee, which will formulate a consistent Administration position on key telecommunications issues, is chaired by Larry Irving, head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the Department of Commerce. Recently, the Committee created:

(2) Information Policy Committee, which is addressing critical information policy issues that must be addressed if the National Information Infrastructure is to be fully deployed and utilized. Sally Katzen, head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), chairs the Committee. The Committee has created three working groups:

(3) Applications Committee, which coordinates Administration efforts to develop, demonstrate, and promote applications of information technology in manufacturing, education, health care, government services, libraries, and other areas. This group works closely with the High-Performance Computing and Communications Program, which is funding development of new applications technologies, to determine how Administration policies can best promote the deployment of such technologies. Arati Prabhakar, Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, chairs the committee. This committee is responsible for implementing many of the recommendations of the Vice President's National Performance Review that pertain to information technology. So far, the Committee has created one working group:

Benefits Advisory Council