Gauss picked to be CIO at VA

Retired Rear Adm. John Gauss, until recently the commander of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, has been selected to be the new chief information officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Gauss' confirmation hearing will take place July 31 before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, and his confirmation is expected to go smoothly. He is well-known as the commander of Spawar, a job he held since 1998, and he has extensive experience in information technology systems.

As Spawar commander, Gauss had 8,000 people under his command and oversaw the Navy's portion of the Defense Message System and the Global Command and Control System-Maritime, among other initiatives.

His pending appointment will help VA Secretary Anthony Principi move swiftly to centralize the VA and make its IT systems more effective. Gauss has been attending weekend meetings of a committee that is studying ways to create an enterprise architecture for the VA. The panel has an Aug. 17 deadline for coming up with a plan.

Gauss has been working at the VA headquarters in Washington, D.C., as a consultant. President Bush nominated Gauss July 17 to be assistant secretary of Veterans Affairs for information and technology—otherwise known as the VA's CIO.

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