President-elect Barack Obama’s initial round of cabinet nominees would bring significant changes to state and local government IT, Chris Dixon, manager, state and local industry analysis at INPUT told Security Magazine. Dixon has been posting his comments on Obama’s rumored and official nominees on INPUT’s “B2G Exchange” blog. Of particular interest have been the nominees for secretary of health and human services, Tom Daschle (SD), and homeland security, Gov. Janet Napolitano (AZ).

“For example, former Senate majority leader Daschle’s views on health care reform include a role for the government in health IT that are similar to those of the outgoing Bush administration,” says Dixon “However, health IT was the #2 policy item of the Obama campaign’s health care platform, so INPUT expects it to see much more attention and funding under the new administration.”

Earlier this year Daschle published the book, “Critical – What We Can Do About the Health Care Crisis.” Dixon’s blog entry details Daschle’s specific comments on roles of health IT and government in health care reform as contained in the book.

"Under Gov. Napolitano, Arizona has been a national leader on state and local intelligence fusion,” stated Dixon. "Candidate Obama pledged to establish a grant program to support ‘thousands more’ state and local level intelligence analysts. INPUT expects to see significant new resources in this IT-intensive area which should be right up her alley."

Dixon is also watching for the potential impact of cabinet nominees on federally-funded social services, particularly in regard to outsourcing of certain business processes. Obama has not yet nominated a secretary of agriculture, who oversees several welfare programs along with the departments of labor and health and human services. However, sub-cabinet appointees will provide the most insight into the administration’s intentions in these areas.

“Once Congress begins to question these nominees, we will get a better sense of where they would like to go, and—just as important—where Congress would like them to go in terms of policy priorities for the next four years,” says Dixon.