Baker to focus on results as VA's CIO

Roger Baker, whom President Barack Obama nominated to be the Veterans Affairs Department's chief information officer, is likely to emphasize improving the results of VA’s information technology projects, said Mark Forman, a principal at KPMG.

Baker was an adviser on Obama's transition teams related to technology, innovation and government reform, the administration said last week. He was the Commerce Department's CIO from 1998 to 2001.

“He’s very disciplined in applying best practices in IT," Forman said. "He’s got a clear vision of where the IT industry and IT solutions are going and how the federal government can best interact with the emerging opportunities and what’s actually going to work in the government.” 

As chairman of the Industry Advisory Council’s Transition Study Group, Forman worked with Baker, who was vice chairman of the panel during the 2008-09 term. Baker was co-author of one of the group's research papers, “Returning Innovation to the Federal Government with Information Technology.”

VA centralized its IT environment under the authority of the department CIO, a process started in late 2006. Among its IT efforts, VA is bringing together its existing technology with a modernized electronic health record system, Forman said. Baker approaches these issues with intelligence, research and understanding with an emphasis on results, he said.

“I believe in VA you’re going to see a mixture of leveraging initiatives in health IT with getting the core processes and activities working much better,” Forman said.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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