Hobbs: Be persistent about money

To get congressional funding for information technology projects, agency officials should remain determined for several years, said Ira Hobbs, the Treasury Department’s chief information officer.

"Some of the things we do, they don’t understand," Hobbs said during a March 9 lunch sponsored by the Washington, D.C., chapter of AFCEA International. "There’ s a perception sometimes that [e-government] is not necessarily tied” to the agency mission.

A good suggestion isn't necessarily taken up by legislators right away. "Sometimes it takes a second or a third year," he said.

But agency officials should send requests early and often to lay a foundation, Hobbs said.

Resource demands for the war on terrorism have not necessarily cut agency budgets, but they have restrained new initiatives, said Dan Matthews, the Transportation Department’s CIO. "There are questions: ‘Why are we doing this, why can’t we wait a year?’" he said.

Within Treasury, antiterrorism efforts receive higher priority, Hobbs said. "We have heard the gush of money" going to the Virginia side of the Potomac River, where the Pentagon is located, but Treasury also deals in homeland security, he added.

Treasury's work in fighting terrorism include efforts such as the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which hunts for sources of terrorist funding, money laundering and other financial crimes, Hobbs said.

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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