ITAA survey reveals CIO worries

Federal chief information officers this year are concerned about homeland security and the key issues outlined in the President's Management Agenda, according to a new survey conducted by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA).

The management agenda, including electronic government and competitive sourcing, is on the minds of officials at civilian agencies, according to the report. "Supporting the evolution of electronic government was of paramount concern to the CIOs, and a key issue they faced was garnering the level of resources necessary to ensure success," the report said.

The Office of Management and Budget requires a strict investment management process, the report said, noting that CIOs have expressed support but are concerned about their lack of experience in building strong business cases.

CIOs also said they have trouble hiring talented technical staff and program managers, and some have to make changes in their organizational culture in order to meet the management agenda goals.

Specifically with regard to electronic government, the CIOs said that the Government Paperwork Elimination Act has become an e-government motivation. In last year's survey, disseminating information and leading important governmentwide initiatives were more important.

The CIOs expressed broad support for e-government, but they were concerned about funding. The study was conducted before Congress appropriated only $5 million of the requested $45 million for e-government in fiscal 2003.

While some CIOs are directly involved in creating the new Homeland Security Department, all of them are responsible for information technology security in their agencies, the study showed. "While the security effort has increased and the security posture has improved, the CIOs recognize that more must be done as they face an ever-changing security landscape based on continuous changes in technology," the report said.

In the Defense Department, CIOs are concerned about "transformation," a six-point program to change the way in which the armed forces operate. Data security and connecting dispersed fighting forces via technology are among the points.

"However, according to some in DOD, there needs to be a better job at creating common terms and programs," the report states. The CIOs surveyed point to the Navy Marine Corps Intranet as an example of "transformation as a way of life," the report adds.

The survey, ITAA's 13th annual, included responses from 35 CIOs or information resource management leaders representing 33 agencies and legislative branch organizations. The survey reflects their thinking on key issues, but does not offer statistical information or ranking of priorities.

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