Interagency groups key to making IT work

In the wake of my retirement, I would like to share some philosophical thoughts with you and offer some feedback about what I have learned in my 30 years in the federal government, which includes more than 20 years in the information technology arena.

In the wake of my retirement, I would like to share some philosophical thoughts with you and offer some feedback about what I have learned in my 30 years in the federal government, which includes more than 20 years in the information technology arena. In brief, give something back, invest in your future and realize that interagency committees form a vital function for IT.

Departments and agencies should support interagency committees. The CIO Council currently has six subcommittees, each researching and delving into important areas of systems interoperability, security, Year 2000, capital planning, improving IT skills and outreach.

Several important policy recommendations that have come out of the council include the architecture model, the IT Investment Portfolio System for investment management, a personal-use policy for federal IT equipment, a piracy management policy and several e-mail best practices. Before the CIO Council and its subcommittee structure were created, there were, at best, isolated pockets of collective thought given to these important matters.

Some agencies and agency executives do not see the value in interagency participation and sharing of intelligence. As managers, we are accountable for resources, people and funds with which we are entrusted. We have projects and programs to deliver and never enough resources to achieve all of the objectives. Nonetheless, I present the argument that despite the shortfall, it is very important that we all make some sort of investment in our collective future.

An example of collective work and successful products was the predecessor to the Information Technology Resources Board (ITRB), the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Improvement Team. The General Services Administration chartered FITAIT, under the leadership of Frank McDonough and Joe Thompson, to investigate and recommend methods for agencies and ourselves to deal with Brooks-era procurement problems. The team came up with a long list of best practices for acquisition activities. The team also came out of the experience with the understanding that its collection of experience and knowledge should be kept together to work on other cross-cutting problems.

Roger Johnson, GSA administrator at the time, with Thompson and McDonough, asked the team to review problem procurements and problem procurement programs. It actually performed three reviews for GSA, some having to do with the old delegated procurement authority program, for those who remember back that far. ITRB was born with Renny DiPentima, formerly deputy commissioner for systems at the Social Security Administration and now president of SRA Federal Systems, as its first chair. DiPentima was followed by Mary Ellen Condon and later by me.

ITRB has published four pamphlets since 1994 containing best practices and recommendations for IT management that its members learned through our collective experiences in the federal IT community. The ITRB membership includes 17 individuals from across government with a total of 425 years of experience. In our reviews, we examine problematic situations, and we have the opportunity to help our colleagues. We also discuss problems that we personally have experienced during our deliberations.

The sum of this is greater than the parts. We contribute to our IT community and gain new insights about improvements we can apply back at our home agencies. Give something back and invest in your future as well the CIO Council committees, and you will certainly profit. Encourage members of your staff to participate in these worthwhile activities with your support, not your sufferance, and reap the benefits.

-- Bresnick was associate CIO for policy at the Agriculture Department.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.