Labor CIO takes reform lead

The Labor Department's chief information officer has been appointed chairman of a new board designed to ensure that President Bush's management reform plan is pursued.

Patrick Pizzella, the department's CIO and assistant secretary for administration and management, will lead a Management Review Board established this month by Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.

The board, which will include assistant secretaries from Labor's larger agencies, will coordinate agency management practices and address agency program plans and results, budgets and funding requirements, and human resources management.

In particular, the Management Review Board will coordinate the execution of a number of key laws, such as the Government Performance and Results Act, the Clinger-Cohen Act, the Government Paperwork Elimination Act and the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act.

Labor created the board, along with the Performance Review Board and the Executive Resources Board, with Bush's government reform plans in mind. Bush's agenda calls for integrating performance and budgeting, expanding competitive sourcing, strengthening agency workforces, improving financial management and advancing e-government.

"We want to ensure the president's agenda and the secretary's areas of emphasis are being implemented departmentwide," Pizzella said. "We take seriously the responsibility we have while here to manage the public's assets."

Noting that both Bush and Chao hold a master's degree in business administration, Pizzella said smooth management will be a top priority at Labor. "[Chao] wants us to run the department efficiently, and the Management Review Board will be a key tool in doing that."

Pizzella said the board's oversight of IT initiatives will help ensure that IT is used smartly, and because the board will be composed of members from a number of agencies, a departmentwide, cross-cutting approach to IT will result.

Labor had already been working toward building a common IT architecture and systems, Pizzella said. The use of electronic signatures and modern financial management systems are two major IT initiatives under way at Labor, he said.

The Management Review Board will meet at least once a month, and initially will have about 14 members.

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