EDS sends intergovernmental signal
- By Dibya Sarkar
- Nov 29, 2001
Anne Reed, former chief information officer at the U.S. Agriculture Department,
recently was named to the lead Electronic Data Systems Corp.'s state and
local government sector. Reed joined EDS' Government Global Industry Group
The appointment of the former high-ranking federal official to oversee
state and local efforts may indicate a shift in how industry is viewing
the public-sector landscape, as officials from all levels of government
are interacting and cooperating to a greater degree than before.
"We did see a real synergy in what's happening in the federal sector
and what's happening in the state and local communities," said Reed, who
worked with thousands of county governments while she was with the USDA.
"I think it was a natural evolution. Interestingly, the federal CIOs began
working closely with the state CIOs during the Y2K problem."
Historically, there's been a reluctance of the federal and state governments
to interact, she said. But the Year 2000 problem demonstrated a "recognition
of the real value of collaboration" that has continued, she added.
"There's much more willingness to respect what each brings to the table,"
said Reed, who helped guide USDA's Year 2000 conversion.
She said recent examples of improved collaboration are New Jersey CIO
Wendy Rayner serving as the National Association of State Chief Information
Officers liaison to the federal CIO Council and former Pennsylvania Gov.
Tom Ridge directing the White House Office of Homeland Security.
Following the Sept. 11 attacks, public-sector officials have been calling
for greater information sharing among federal, state and local governments,
particularly in the security and public safety areas. Although Sept. 11
underscored the importance of better governmental interoperability, Reed
said it did not spur EDS' decision to select her to lead the state and local
In her new position, Reed expects that state and local governments will
focus on homeland security, public safety and law enforcement, noting "that's
where the public's attention is, that's where the governors' attentions
She also said EDS is focused on enterprise solutions as several states
are examining how to restructure their communications infrastructure to