Flip side: Top 10 benefits of Clinger-Cohen

Wow! Has it been 10 years already? It seems like yesterday we were meeting with all the stakeholders to hammer out the final provisions of the Information Technology Management Reform Act. Everyone can debate its relative success and the pace of its implementation, but for me, having been there before and after the Clinger-Cohen Act, I believe we have a far better IT environment since its passage. Here are my top 10 reasons why Clinger-Cohen is good:

10. Rather than focusing on IT, agencies concentrate on the business of government and the performance of programs supporting the mission.

9. The government no longer needs to write detailed, prescriptive requests for proposals. It can acquire goods and services based on a statement of objectives.

8. The General Services Administration can focus on service to government customers, not on lengthy reviews of procurement paperwork.

7. Agencies have chief information officers, and a CIO Council coordinates IT programs across agency lines.

6. Agencies have portfolio management programs, and they actually know what IT programs they have.

5. Agencies have capital planning and investment review processes and must plan and perform thorough due diligence of projects before they get funding.

4. Agencies can pay for delivery of results, not just delivery of things.

3. Agencies have enterprise architectures to eliminate redundancy, transform the business and force some standardization.

2. Clinger-Cohen is an example of how a truly bipartisan approach can accomplish a major piece of legislation.

And the No. 1 reason Clinger-Cohen is a good thing:

Former government CIOs can become consultants, and companies will pay them to gain an understanding of Clinger-Cohen's provisions.

Flyzik is a partner with the government technology consulting company Guerra, Kiviat, Flyzik and Associates. He left government in 2002 after 28 years of service, including serving as vice chairman of the CIO Council. He can be reached at jflyzik@govspecialists.com.

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