Council offers SAGE advice

CIO-SAGE program

The Council for Excellence in Government — with the help of about 25 former

government chief information officers — has created a resource pool that

current public-sector CIOs can dip into for advice, problem-solving and

mentoring.

"The value it creates is it brings together a significant cadre of people

with similar backgrounds, similar experiences and puts them in one place

and makes them available to the CIO community," said David McClure, vice

president of e-government at the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit council,

which works to improve government performance.

The CIO Senior Advisors to Government Executives is the brainchild of

McClure, a former senior information technology official with the General

Accounting Office, and Steve Kolodney, former Washington state CIO and now

vice president of digital government for American Management Systems Inc.,

which provided some start-up money to put the group together.

The network may be especially helpful because nearly half of state governments

have new administrations, and the federal government has experienced a significant

turnover as well.

McClure said the CIO network isn't there to express any particular viewpoint

or represent any company, but members with diverse backgrounds and different

strengths — whether as managers, technologists, change or business agents

— could share lessons learned and successful approaches and draw on their

past experience for a particular problem.

At the end of 2002, the council brought together former public-sector

CIOs — many of whom are now in the private sector — to pitch the concept

of the advisory group, he said. Beginning next month, the council plans

to hold quarterly meetings between the network and new federal, state and

local CIOs.

Already, a subset of the network has met with Massachusetts Gov. Mitt

Romney's IT commission on enterprise management, McClure said. The network

also can reach beyond current CIOs to the executive and political ranks

of state, federal and local governments by explaining a CIO role.

McClure said he wasn't aware of any such mechanism in the past that

brought former CIOs together with current ones. A long-term goal would be

to develop a funding model to sustain the network.

"It's a widely needed and recognized function," he said. "I know CIOs

in state and local governments have expressed great interest in having a

body to go to."

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