Chu: IT security a drag on Energy's mission

Energy secretary wants to balance information security, mission

Energy Secretary Steven Chu has said the Energy Department needs to consider whether its information security systems are worth the drag on its mission.

“We’re going to be looking at information technologies," Chu said at press briefing May 7 about the department's fiscal 2010 budget proposal. "Do we have the right balance between keeping our IT secure from viruses to how it compromises productivity?”

In an April 29 speech at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., Chu said “well-meaning people” in the chief information officer’s office and in the procurement and finance offices “whose job it is to protect the Department of Energy” actually hinder what the department can do.

“They forgot the Department of Energy has a job, and it’s not to protect the Department of Energy. It’s to get something done,” he said. Terrible accidents and financial waste are bad things, he said, but added, “It has to be balanced against the mission of the department and so this is something that I feel very strongly about.”

Beyond IT, the department will undergo more core reforms, Chu said on May 7, adding that officials will take a thorough look at how Energy buys things and manages its property and then direct any savings to the department’s goals

“We really want to look very hard at the business operations of the Department of Energy,” he said.


About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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