Policy Watch from CompTIA


Tax Reform: A Lot of Talk, But No Action Yet

For years now, Congress has kicked the subject of tax reform down the road. Even so, most everyone is in agreement that the tax laws and regulations are too complex, that the system is inefficient, and that compliance costs are too high.

The last major tax reform occurred in the 1980s. Lessons to draw from that exercise are that any industry - including technology - must be prepared to analyze and advocate when major legislative proposals are being developed.

CompTIA is working to advocate for the needs of small tech companies in the tax reform debate. The goal is to support proposals that promote investments in capital and R&D, as well as the creation and sustainability of tech jobs.

In preparation for this tax reform debate, we're working to finalize a questionnaire for some of our members and our TechVoice partners to identify your specific areas of concern. Keep an eye out for this survey coming your way soon.


The Trusted Identities Program Is a Win-Win
This month the Obama Administration issued the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace. The Administration is promoting a new online "identity ecosystem". The way the system works is that consumers could choose to obtain an online credential (from a variety of third party certificate providers) that serve as digital key chains to authenticate their online identities. Think PayPal for ID management. Read more.

NIST Nudging Fedsto Cloud Computing
At the direction of Vivek Kundra, the chief information officer for the United States, the National Institute for Science and Technology (NIST) is pushing the federal government to migrate to cloud computing. Read more.

Consumer Privacy Protections Without State Preemptions
This month Senators Kerry and McCain introduced the "Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights". The purpose of the bill is to impose stricter guidelines for the collation, storage and transmission of consumer data. Read more.


President Signs 1099 Repeal
On April 14, President Obama signed into law legislation that repeals implementation of a new Form 1099 reporting requirement. Had this provision been allowed to go into effect, beginning in 2012 all businesses would have been required to file a Form 1099 when paying any business or individual $600 or more for goods or services in one year, which would have been especially burdensome on small businesses. CompTIA had been working for repeal of this provision since its passage last year. The President's signature follows overwhelming passage of this legislation in both the House and Senate. Read more.

Legislation Would Simplify Interstate Tax Compliance
The House introduced a new version of Business Activity tax legislation this week, H.R. 1439, the Business Activity Tax Simplification Act of 2011. The bill would provide uniform guidelines to determine which state could tax interstate transaction. This legislation is important to tech companies that provide services via the Internet to customers in other states. Under current state tax rules, each state had its own criteria for taxing interstate transactions, which could leave small businesses unfairly defending tax enforcement proceedings from competing states. Read more.


Skills and Workforce Budgets Are Cut But Survive
A cornerstone of our mission to grow the industry is support for a national network of career training and education. On April 15th the President signed into law H.R. 1473, the long-term continuing resolution that will fund the federal government through the end of FY11. As a political document, this makes clear that support for career and technical education will be diminished. Read more.


New EMR Milestone
Under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, eligible healthcare professionals and hospitals can qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments when they adopt certified electronic health records (EHR) technology and use it to achieve specified objectives. Two regulations have been released, one of which defines the "meaningful use" objectives that providers must meet to qualify for the bonus payments. Read more.


Breakaway Registration Opens Online
Get ready for a host of channel education and networking opportunities this August. Registration for our annual Breakaway conference in Washington, D.C., is now open online. Hotel rates at the Washington Hilton, our host hotel, are $139 a night when booked by July 1.

New Advisory Councils To Help Shape CompTIA Agenda
The collective expertise of top IT channel executives will help shape our future initiatives, policy stances and programs. Our new Partner 500 Advisory Council and Vendor Advisory Council comprise a diverse group of IT executives, each of whom brings in-depth knowledge and experience in multiple channel leadership roles.

   To read previous issues of Policy Watch, click here..

April 2011, Issue 9
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The Hill
Pressure Mounts for H-1B Reform

Government Health IT
New Health IT Coordinator Will Stay the Course

The Hill
Obama Repeals 1099 Tax Reporting Burden

National Journal
Cyber Attackers Have the Edge


The National Institute of Standards and Technology solicits assistance in establishing a Health Information Technology Testing Infrastructure.

The Defense Logistics Agency seeks contractor for Altiris Technology Lifecycle Asset Management Software Maintenance Renewal.

NIST requires assistance in upgrading its identity, credentialing and access management infrastructure to align with new federal standards.

The Food and Drug Administration requests proposals for the procurement of a laboratory information management system and associated support.

The Department of Labor seeks contractor for assistance with redesigning its Transition Assistance Program Employment Workshop as part of its Veterans Employment and Training Service.

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Key CompTIA Public Policy Contacts

Workforce Education
Elizabeth Hyman
Vice President, Public Advocacy

Tech Entrepreneurs
Lamar Whitman
Director, Public Advocacy

IT Security
David Valdez
Senior Director, Public Advocacy

PAC and Grassroots Advocacy
Matthew L. Evans
Manager, Public Advocacy

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All Rights Reserved.
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