Survey: CIOs insecure about President's Management Agenda

Federal chief information officers and other information technology leaders are much less confident of their progress toward implementing crucial elements of the President’s Management Agenda, a new survey finds.

The Association for Federal Information Resources Management, a nonprofit industry group that conducted the survey, noted a precipitous decline in respondents who think the federal government is making progress on the Office of Management and Budget’s lines of business and e-government initiatives.

AFFIRM announced its findings in its 10th Annual Top Ten Challenges Survey for federal CIOs, which tracks changes in issues and technologies of interest to senior federal IT officials and staff. The association released the survey yesterday.

Only 15 percent of those surveyed thought their agencies were making progress on e-government and the lines of business, down from 44 percent in 2004.

The number of those who saw little progress more than doubled, from 10 percent in 2004 to 26 percent.

The number who thought they were making some progress rose to 56 percent, from 41 percent in 2004.

Respondents thought the lines of business and e-government initiatives should align with the budget cycle and have plans for long-term support, the report states. Progress across projects is inconsistent, too, it states.

The most pressing skill gaps in the federal workforce continue to be a lack of skills in program management and project and budget planning, 47 percent of respondents said.

Forty-six percent of respondents said the skills gap is closed, almost closed or shrinking. Eighteen percent thought the gap is growing, while 31 percent thought the gap has stayed steady.

The gaps are widening because of a lack of training and funding and not knowing where the gaps are, the report states.

“These results seem to indicate that while there have been successful efforts in narrowing the skills gap, much work remains,” it concludes.

AFFIRM e-mailed surveys in November to more than 1,000 federal IT officials and managers. The results reflect the 96 surveys completed.

The survey included special questions to help CIOs and other federal leaders understand how the President’s Management Agenda, the 2001, terrorist attacks and the ongoing war on terrorism affect federal IT.

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