Building the IT workforce is a priority for CIO council

The CIO Council has issued its strategies for advancing information technology and e-government through fiscal 2009, including efforts to build up the IT workforce.

The council’s broad strategic plan, issued Jan. 24, pushes President Bush’s goals of applying IT governmentwide before the administration ends. The council intends to focus on the federal infrastructure, the line of business initiatives, secure information and the IT workforce’s capabilities.

“This plan represents the council’s collective thinking on how best they will pursue and achieve their important goals,” said Karen Evans, administrator for e-government and IT at the Office of Management and Budget, and director of the council.

Concerning the workforce, the government needs to assemble proficient IT professionals as agencies continue to upgrade their systems, the plan states. The rate of change in IT, along with congressional and federal requirements, drives the ongoing evolution in workforce management. With this progress, workers must be competent and well versed in necessary IT skills.

The plan’s timeline shows that by fiscal 2008, the council will assess workforce capabilities based on an IT workforce capability assessment survey. Similarly, in fiscal 2007, officials will scrutinize a past survey, the Capability Planning and Analysis Tool.

The council would like to see half of all agencies use that tool in their planning, according to the document.

The council also wants to continue to use an IT roadmap system, a tool to help employees with their career planning. The Web-based application allows employees to find competency requirements. It also analyzes gaps between what employees know and what they need to know to meet a goal, and it identifies training to cover the gaps. 

“The ability to identify and target specialties in the dynamic field of IT is essential to workforce planning and successful recruiting,” according to the plan.

The council also plans to continue government exchange programs, forums on IT issues, along with updates to core competencies for federal universities and recruitment to the public sector.

“The federal CIO Council has played an important role in championing the information transformation across government,” said David Wennergren, deputy CIO at the Department of Defense and vice chair of the council. “Our Strategic Plan builds on these accomplishments and sets the course for the Council’s activities in the months ahead.”

The plan was approved unanimously by the council’s executive committee on Jan. 5.

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