No, there should not be an IT czar

Set up for Failure?

In spite of the "buzz" in the community about the need for a federal chief information officer — a czar for federal information technology who would play the kind of governmentwide leadership role that John Koskinen did for Year 2000 — I believe that creating an IT czar might be setting us up for failure.

Because IT is an enabler of business change and not the core business of the government, we should be looking at how we do governmentwide planning and integration and integrate it into agencies' infrastructures.

Rather than an IT czar, what I believe we really need is a government business czar — a chief operating officer whose day-to-day job is to lead an effort to improve the way government does business with citizens and the way it handles its internal administrative processes (human resources management, financial management, procurement and IT).

Maybe chief operating officer is a new concept at the executive level — or maybe it's a job that the incoming vice president should be given! After all, he (or she) could be held personally accountable to the chief executive and to the voters for getting their job done.

Harold Gracey

Vice president, government affairs


Leveling Off

There should not be a higher level above the agency chief information officer. Further, there should be no proliferation of CIO positions below the agency level.

Name withheld upon request


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