Management

CFOs, CIOs learning the new lingo of efficient IT

Margie Graves

Margie Graves is the federal government's acting deputy CIO.

Two months into her new job at the Office of Management and Budget, Deputy CIO Margie Graves said she's trying to improve how agency CIOs and chief financial officers communicate.

The dialogue that has sprung up among federal leaders since the passage of the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act and the Data Accountability and Transparency Act was a theme running through the CFO/CIO Summit hosted by the Association of Government Accountants and the Association for Federal Information Resources Management on May 13.

Graves, who was detailed to OMB from her position as the Department of Homeland Security's deputy CIO in March, said FITARA rules are bringing agency executives together at the right time in IT development. She added that OMB is working on a taxonomy for a common language that could be used across CIO and CFO shops as executives seek to incorporate IT plans into agencies' business and mission objectives.

The taxonomy would make it easier for financial and IT officials to understand the nitty-gritty details of IT operations. "It's a drive to granularity," Graves said.

She told FCW the taxonomy is in its initial stages, and she plans to discuss it in more depth at the Capital Planning and Investment Control Forum on May 16-17.

The language could be instrumental in helping the pending IT Modernization Fund get off to a good start because the fund will require agencies to present strong business cases for replacing or modernizing their legacy systems.

OMB Controller David Mader said he expects to have updates to Circular A-123, which provides guidance on agencies' internal financial controls, ready next month. The document will "be a new chapter" for enterprise risk management at federal agencies, he added.

ERM takes a holistic look at an agency's challenges and opportunities and presents them in a broad, strategically aligned portfolio view.

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, tele.com 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 mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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