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Commerce chief: Merge NTIA, other depts.

The Commerce Department Thursday proposed merging the National
Telecommunications and Information Administration with the agency's other
technology-related departments.

Under a plan unveiled by secretary Don Evans, the NTIA would join with the
Technology Administration and portions of the International Trade Administration
devoted to electronic commerce.

Evans said the merger would make sense because the departments could better
coordinate domestic and international policy in increasingly interrelated
sectors of the economy.

"Convergence is the business model in the digital economy: It should be the
business model in the federal government," Evans said.

The merger would place the new agency under supervision of undersecretary for
technology Phil Bond.