November 5, 1998
Release No. 071-98

CONTACT: Kelly A. Lees
PHONE: (202) 619-4355

United States Information
- News Release

U.S. Information Agency, U.S. Department of State
Sign Cooperative Agreement on Technology Resources

Cooperative Technology Architecture (CITA) Initiative Represents Framework for Resources Sharing at Overseas Missions

Washington, D.C.-- Chief Information Officers Jonathan Spalter of the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) and Fernando Burbano of the U.S. State Department today signed a cooperative agreement that lays the groundwork for the joint use of information technology resources at embassies and overseas missions. The Cooperative Information Technology Architecture (CITA) initiative is designed to enhance collaboration among all U.S. government entities and to increase the effective utilization of each agency's technological tools.

The CITA initiative embodies an important first step in unifying USIA and the State Department, and their common work and vision on the nation's foreign policy agenda. The overall goal of this agreement, "is to ... evaluate the impact of new technologies on the conduct of international diplomacy in the next century." Each project under the initiative will focus on improving the business of government by applying technology in different and creative ways to meet the needs, not just of a single agency, but of the entire diplomatic community.

The first CITA project will seek to improve communication among country team members primarily from State and USIA, however, additional agencies may also participate. This initial project will focus on electronic mail, the primary means of communicating and a service that historically has been unreliable and slow between the two agencies. The Intra-Post Email Enhancement project will create an email system that can resolve information assurance and technical issues that currently inhibit free and efficient transmission of email. By implementing a more direct email service, work processes will improve as a result of communicating more quickly and with fewer errors.

The United States Information Agency, headed by Dr. Joseph Duffey, is an independent foreign affairs agency within the executive branch that explains and supports U.S. foreign policy and national security interests abroad through a wide range of information programs. The Agency promotes mutual understanding between the United States and other countries through a series of educational and cultural exchange activities.

USIA's programs include the Voice of America, Radio and TV Mart­, the WORLDNET satellite television system, the daily Washington File newswire, the Fulbright scholarship program, the International Visitor Program, the Speakers and Specialists Program, three Foreign Press Centers in the United States, and a network of overseas resource and cultural centers. The Agency has 190 posts in 141 countries.

The USIA domestic server can be accessed through or through most search engines on the Internet.

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The USIA domestic server can be accessed through or through most search engines on the Internet.

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