McCormack details changes at DHS CIO office

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FITARA and the Department of Homeland Security's Unity of Effort initiative, which is aimed at tying together DHS's disparate components, have spurred CIO Luke McCormack to overhaul his office's structure.

The changes present an opportunity to "transform into a more customer focused and service oriented organization," McCormack wrote a blog post on

As part of the effort, McCormack promoted Deputy CIO Margie Graves to principal deputy CIO for strategy, governance, and transformation.

McCormack also announced the appointment of a new chief technology officer, Michael Hermus, who will lead development of information technology and standards across the multi-agency department.

DHS will move to strengthen strategy, planning and governance processes under FITARA and the Unity of Effort initiative, according to McCormack, introducing subject matter expertise early in the planning process and ensure programs and investments line up with the agency's IT strategy and the Homeland Security Enterprise Architecture.

McCormack said the OCIO will leverage emerging technologies "to meet our stakeholders’ needs through the implementation of an effective governance framework (FITARA), ITIL best practices, and a mature service broker/service management operating model." The customer-oriented Information Technology Infrastructure Library, now just called ITIL, is one of the most common frameworks for IT service management. It was developed by United Kingdom's Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency in the 1980s and is now owned by AXELOS, a joint venture of the UK government and Capita PLC.

Additionally, as a service broker DHS will adopt best practices from industry, including a new holistic approach to computing services to meet component agencies’ needs with the appropriate technology available and to leverage cloud "where we can," McCormack wrote.

Those duties will fall to a newly created deputy CIO position – a role that will have full responsibility over IT operations and service delivery. The new position will also lead enterprise operations monitoring, planning, service operations, service management and continuous service improvement.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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