The Circuit

Miller on E-Gov Mission

Ron Miller, the former chief information officer at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is moving to the Small Business Administration to help develop e-government programs.

Miller was assigned to FEMA from June 2001 until August 2002, when he worked to help re-orient FEMA's technology operations to meet its evolving mission after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Miller's performance warranted an offer to help the Homeland Security Office develop an information technology architecture for the new Homeland Security Department.

Miller said he is moving on to become the senior adviser to the SBA administrator for e-government. As such, he will make sure SBA "is a participating, active partner in those e-government initiatives" it has a role in.

For example, he said disaster management is a key area for SBA, and it is important that both FEMA and SBA assist disaster victims "so the citizen only has one step, not two."

Miller also will work to re-engineer and transform SBA so it "provides as many of its products and services to the citizens via the Internet as possible," he said.

GAO Looks Inward

General Accounting Office officials are constantly testifying in Congress on the progress — or lack thereof — of other agency programs, but every once in a while, they get to talk about their own agency.

At a hearing last week on data mining in the federal government, Gregory Kutz, GAO's director of financial management and assurance, testified that GAO is learning how the technology can improve the agency's performance, particularly when it comes to putting specific details into reports and audits.

But although it may be helpful for GAO to know governmentwide financial details for an investigation into purchase card abuse, for example, that information becomes a big target once it's tied together in a single database. That's where the benefits of upfront security planning come in, Kurtz said.


NASA named Patricia Dunnington its new CIO, officials announced March 24.

Dunnington, the agency's deputy CIO since August 2002, takes over the position from Paul Strassmann, NASA's special assistant to the administrator for information management and acting CIO.

Dunnington "has an intimate knowledge of the agency, and she will be a key leader, planner and manager as we continue to apply cutting-edge information technology to NASA," NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe said in a statement.

Before starting as deputy CIO, Dunnington completed a Senior Executive Service candidate development program assignment with Cisco Systems Inc. and was CIO of NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.

Dunnington joined NASA in 1982 as a presidential management intern in the Office of Aerospace Technology and has served as the CIO for the enterprise office. She was acting deputy CIO in 1996. She received a bachelor's degree from Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and a master's degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, Md.

Strassmann joined NASA last spring to develop an IT strategy and architecture. He plans to retire, officials said.

Fitting the Profile

The Office of Management and Budget is not happy with the Transportation Security Administration's decision to move forward on its new Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System (CAPPS) II without approval. But for other people in government, passenger screening hits closer to home.

Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Government Reform Committee's Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census Subcommittee (see related story, Page 42), frequently flies back and forth between Washington, D.C., and his district. He has been pulled over for a thorough search every time he has flown, he said at a hearing last week.

Putnam has many of the characteristics that raise red flags in TSA's current screening system: He is a single male, young (28) and usually buys one-way tickets. Putnam agreed wholeheartedly with Mark Forman, OMB's assistant director for information technology and e-government, when Forman said "there has to be something better" than CAPPS II.

Education CIO Switcheroo

Changes are afoot at the Education Department. Secretary Rod Paige March 6 appointed William Leidinger as the new chief information officer, replacing Craig Luigart.

Luigart, in turn, became deputy chief information officer and chief technology officer, a new position. An Education spokesman said the changes were part of a reorganization.

Leidinger is also the department's assistant secretary for management, confirmed on Feb. 12, 2002. As the assistant secretary he oversees Education's human resources, management services, facilities and information technology. Luigart served as CIO since September 2001, managing nearly $1 billion in IT investments and more than 500 IT staff members and contractors.

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