The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) and the Government Electronics and Information Technology Association (GEIA) announced yesterday that their merger had been approved by both organizationsâ€™ boards of directors. The merger is expected to close on April 1.
As reported in November, the two organizations have planned to merge in hopes of combining their messages and influence on Capitol Hill. The new organization will represent almost 400 technology companies, most of which are federal contractors.
â€œThe new organization will be more of a one-stop shop for government to interface with the industry,â€ said Phil Bond, President and CEO of ITAA.
Under the terms of the merger GEIA will form a third group under the ITAA banner along with the existing public and commercial sector groups. The new board of directors will have equal representation from both organizations. Dan Heinemeier, formerly President of GEIA, will continue to lead that group as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of ITAA.
â€œAt a fundamental level, we need to do a better job of presenting to the policymakers the importance of IT to fulfilling their missions and the economyâ€™s performance,â€ Bond said. â€œWe havenâ€™t done as good a job as we might because we have scattered voices, on everything from procurement to economic issues like the knowledge economy and research & development.â€
Bond added that while the increased oversight of procurement practices led by House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Ca.) influenced the decision, it was not a primary cause for the merger. â€œWaxman is just one factor, not the instigator or initial reason,â€ Bond said. â€œOur members saw the complimentary nature of the two organizations and saw an opportunity to get a stronger voice. Certainly they understood that with increased oversight, they would need that stronger voice. But it was not a primary factor.â€