BIA reorg creates IT division

Department of Interior

The Interior Department's massive reorganization of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Office of the Special Trustee will include a newly created Division of Special Information Technology Services.

Interior officials have not set an exact start date for the division, but the agency has begun advertising for newly created IT management positions. The overall bureau reorganization process will be done in steps during the next few years, starting Oct. 5 with BIA's central office employees.

Consolidating IT workers under a single division will improve the agency's capabilities, agency officials said.

"We think it is crucial to have not only a consolidated but exceptional IT world, and we think this is the way to do it," said Jerry Gidner, chief of staff to the assistant secretary for Indian affairs. "We want to make sure everybody's doing things the same way."

The reorganization is a major part of Interior's trust management plan, which seeks to improve performance and accountability in the agency's management of the Indian trust.

The major areas being realigned are: the Office of the Assistant Secretary — Indian Affairs, BIA and the Office of Special Trustee for American Indians.

"Our new structure will allow Interior a better way of doing business," said Interior Secretary Gale Norton. "I believe our reorganization will greatly enhance the services we provide to these beneficiaries."

As part of the reshuffling, the division of special IT services falls under the authority of the newly created deputy assistant secretary for information resources management/chief information officer, a position currently filled by Brian Burns.

This is one of four deputy assistant positions that are now part of Interior's revised plan. The others are a principal deputy assistant secretary, deputy assistant secretary for policy and economic development, and deputy assistant secretary for management.

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