IT reform push: Six months later

The Obama administration’s IT reform plan marks its six-month anniversary June 9 and several agency CIOs have prepared for it by updating the public on the plan’s implementation at their agencies.

As of June 7, 11 CIOs had posted blog entries on the official CIO.gov website that detail the progress of IT reform at federal organizations that include the Justice, Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, Commerce, Health and Human Services and Agriculture departments. 

Many of the CIOs discussed their efforts to move to shared services or cloud platforms and the number of data centers they seek to close by the end of this year.

Matthew Perry, CIO of the Office of Personnel Management, also shared in his entry the role OPM is playing in the creation of an IT program management career path.


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“Over the past six months we have worked on a tight time frame to establish this new career track for high-performing program managers,” Perry wrote June 6. “We have published the classification title for IT program managers, researched the need for direct-hire authority for IT program managers, and are in the process of developing an IT program competency model and career path.” 
 
In addition, CIOs used the blog entries to highlight their adoption of the TechStat process earlier this year.

Richard Spires, CIO of DHS and vice chairman of the federal CIO Council, said in his recent blog entry that DHS held its first TechStat session at the end of March on the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.

“As a result of this TechStat, we improved the department’s acquisition strategy to support modular development, engaged agency leadership, assigned dedicated resources throughout the program’s life cycle....” Spires wrote June 1.

Along with the CIO updates, the council this month unveiled an interactive map to track federal data center consolidation and a cloud migration list that announces three services each council agency will move to the cloud by June 2012.

The implementation of the IT reform plan appears to be on schedule, except for two elements – working with Congress to create IT budget models that align with modular development and working with Congress to consolidate commodity IT spending under agency CIOs – according to a chart on the CIO.gov website.

Federal CIO Vivek Kundra and other CIOs have acknowledged that these two aspects of the plan will likely be the most difficult to achieve because they require buy-in from lawmakers.

About the Author

Alyah Khan is a staff writer covering IT policy.

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