Agriculture changing data centers expertise

PHILADELPHIA—The Agriculture Department is reconfiguring its data centers in New Orleans and in Kansas City, Mo., to take advantage of volume purchases across the department and improve disaster recovery.

Scott Charbo, department CIO, said yesterday that the National Finance Center in New Orleans would handle disaster recovery for all the agency’s bureaus, while the National IT Center in Kansas City would provide data warehousing.

Charbo, who spoke at the American Council for Technology’s 2005 Management of Change conference, said bureaus could apply for a waiver not to use New Orleans or Kansas City, but they would have to justify why.

Agriculture awarded a contract to IBM Corp. to provide the design, implementation and migration of this new plan.

“We just launched the project to better align the data centers,” Charbo said during a panel discussion about sustaining e-government projects. “We have two big assets from an infrastructure standpoint. By aligning them, we will have a standard configuration, which will enable us to make larger buys and save money.”

Charbo said previously NITC bought or used disaster recovery services from other sources.

Agriculture also is strongly emphasizing that bureaus submit business cases using earned-value management (EVM). Charbo said department executives are working on a policy for major projects with a large amount of development money.

“I’ve issued a memo to the bureaus encouraging the use of EVM,” Charbo said. “It is a part of the President’s Management Agenda scorecard that we are graded on, and it helps me see which projects may need more attention.”

EVM is a project management application that integrates the scope of work with cost, schedule and performance elements for optimal project planning and control.

Agriculture’s focus on EVM is part of a governmentwide move to use the methodology more regularly. The Civilian and Defense acquisition councils issued a proposed rule to add EVM to the Federal Acquisition Regulations in April [see GCN story].

About the Author

Connect with the GCN staff on Twitter @GCNtech.


  • Congress
    U.S. Capitol (Photo by M DOGAN / Shutterstock)

    Funding bill clears Congress, heads for president's desk

    The $1.3 trillion spending package passed the House of Representatives on March 22 and the Senate in the early hours of March 23. President Trump is expected to sign the bill, securing government funding for the remainder of fiscal year 2018.

  • 2018 Fed 100

    The 2018 Federal 100

    This year's Fed 100 winners show just how much committed and talented individuals can accomplish in federal IT. Read their profiles to learn more!

  • Census
    How tech can save money for 2020 census

    Trump campaign taps census question as a fund-raising tool

    A fundraising email for the Trump-Pence reelection campaign is trying to get supporters behind a controversial change to the census -- asking respondents whether or not they are U.S. citizens.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.