Former EPA official wants to bring new IT to government

CGI hires Molly O’Neill to help agencies manage technology initiatives

In her new role at CGI Federal, Inc. as vice-president and federal energy and environmental industry lead, Molly O’Neill plans to draw on her past experience with technologies such as data sharing and Web 2.0 to help government agencies begin new ways of doing business.

For years, government agencies have relied on the private sector to help support traditional information technology systems, O’Neill said. With the advent of services-based information technology, government and contractors have to figure out new ways to work together.

“The question now is how can the government leverage the private sector into some of these newer areas,” O’Neill said. At CGI, O’Neill will lead the Federal Energy and Environmental practice and its related IT programs initiatives.

Web 2.0, for example, is more than just wikis and blogs, O’Neill said. The technology offers new ways to deliver services to the public. Agencies and their contractor partners need to examine how they are engaging with the public and evaluate how technology can improve that relationship.

In some cases, the ways private companies interact with customers may provide a model for how government agencies can communicate with the public, she said.

Many challenges exist in realizing that dream, she said. The government’s current ban of Web tracking tools on agency Web sites is an example of how government is different than private companies. O’Neill is not advocating for a change in the policy, but said it is wise to examine it.

“Some of the older regulations and laws that are on the books, from an IT perspective, have been on the books for 50 years, and they don’t address that technology could help change some of these businesses processes,” O’Neill said. “I think it is incumbent that the private sector understand that those challenges are there, and try and work through the challenges together.”

O’Neill is the former assistant administrator and chief information officer of the Environmental Protection Agency. Before joining EPA , O’Neill served as the state director of the National Environmental Information Exchange Network for the Environmental Council of the States.

“As CIO at the EPA, Molly was a recognized innovator and leader in the federal CIO community,” said George Schindler, president, CGI Federal. “Molly’s strong expertise and creativity, combined with her State and Local experience, will help CGI’s clients effectively manage their technology initiatives while balancing the increasing demands they face around transparency and information access.”


About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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