VanRoekel: IT reform 'a shock to the system'

The 25-point plan to overhaul federal IT has been successful as “a shock to the system,” according to U.S. CIO Steven VanRoekel. The plan pushes federal agencies to clear set goals to improve the overall function of the government.

Over the past 18 months, the Obama administration has worked to eliminate hurdles that stand in the way of reform, allowing agencies to leverage IT to create a more efficient government, VanRoekel wrote June 7 on the OMBlog.

“While the 25 points have not solved all federal IT challenges, they addressed many of the most pressing, persistent challenges we face,” said the federal CIO. “Most importantly, this plan established many wins that will drive our efforts well into the future.”

Before the roll-out of the reform strategy, agencies’ cloud moves were inconsistent, IT investments were handled by individuals with “varying degrees of expertise and experience," and agency CIOs often lacked sufficient authority, VanRoekel said.

Now, however, all agencies have a clear path to cloud migration and all major IT investments are led by a program manager. A majority of agency CIOs also have formal authority to review and green-light major IT investments, VanRoekel pointed out.

He also outlined the administration’s other key milestones, including:

  • Expanding data center consolidation efforts and upping goal by 50 percent from the original set in 2010
  • Launching Initial Operating Capability of the Federal Risk Authorization Management Program
  • Releasing the Shared Services Strategy
  • Kicking off  the IT Program Manager career path

One of the most significant triumphs of the 25-point plan is the requirement for TechStat reviews, which to date has trained more than 1,500 employees in the process and increased accountability and management, VanRoekel said.

“We will continue to eliminate duplication wherever we find it and shift spending from the costly maintenance of outdated systems to more efficient technologies,” VanRoekel wrote. "By doing so, we can improve the delivery of mission critical services, as we work together with Congress to hold agency IT budgets in check and reduce the costs to the American people."

 

About the Author

Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.

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