Chertoff: CIO, CFO did not get more power

A recent top-to-bottom review of the Homeland Security Department purposely did not recommend giving the chief information officer and chief financial officer more authority, DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff said today.

The two positions will continue to work closely with the secretary’s office through the existing management structure, Chertoff said at the Excellence in Government conference in Washington, D.C.

The CIO and CFO currently report to DHS’ undersecretary for management, Janet Hale. Many former and current government officials and industry experts have suggested that making the CIO and CFO report directly to Chertoff would give those positions more clout to achieve departmentwide results.

Chertoff disagreed. “Simply creating more direct reports creates the illusion of coordination rather than the reality of coordination,” he said.

When Chertoff took over as DHS chief in March, 29 different units in the department reported directly to him, he said. The departmentwide review lowered that number to 25.

Chertoff also stated his support for MaxHR, a new human resources IT system that would support a pay-for-performance approach to employee raises and promotions.

DHS employees are currently paid based on the 15-grade General Schedule pay scale that federal agencies have used for 50 years. The new system seeks to give managers more flexibility to reassign employees.

MaxHR has been controversial because unions warn that the system would reduce employees' collective bargaining rights and loosen management's requirements to consult unions on decisions.

Chertoff has asked Congress to fully fund President Bush's budget request for MaxHR to get the system running as soon as possible, he said.


**********

Featured

  • Defense
    Soldiers from the Old Guard test the second iteration of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) capability set during an exercise at Fort Belvoir, VA in Fall 2019. Photo by Courtney Bacon

    IVAS and the future of defense acquisition

    The Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System has been in the works for years, but the potentially multibillion deal could mark a paradigm shift in how the Defense Department buys and leverages technology.

  • Cybersecurity
    Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lora Ratliff)

    Mayorkas announces cyber 'sprints' on ransomware, ICS, workforce

    The Homeland Security secretary announced a series of focused efforts to address issues around ransomware, critical infrastructure and the agency's workforce that will all be launched in the coming weeks.

Stay Connected