Workforce

Tech help wanted at OPM

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A year after a devastating data breach and four months after its previous CIO quit, the Office of Personnel Management is in the market for a permanent CIO.

OPM posted the job listing on USAJobs on June 1.

OPM is planning an "aggressive" modernization of its application suites and wants the next CIO to lead that charge, OPM's senior cybersecurity adviser Clifton Triplett said during a June 1 conference call with reporters.

The two-pronged push will support the modernization of applications that underpin the nascent National Background Investigations Bureau and those integral to OPM's retirement system.

"It's impossible to say at this point" how much the modernization will cost, Triplett said. "As it stands...we have been given the money to do basically the engineering, the estimation to design the future state."

He declined to say how much funding had been earmarked for the design phase or to give a ballpark estimate of how much the projects might cost.

The modernization work and funding are separate from IT infrastructure upgrades that OPM has struggled to finance.

The next OPM CIO will also be charged with protecting an agency whose shoddy cybersecurity enabled the 2015 breach of the personal data of more than 20 million federal employees.

Triplett said OPM has been working closely with the Department of Homeland Security to adopt all the latest defensive capabilities, including Einstein 3 Accelerated and continuous monitoring.

Since OPM's last permanent CIO, Donna Seymour, stepped down in February, the agency's IT has been under the provisional direction of Office of Management and Budget veteran Lisa Schlosser.

Schlosser told reporters that she's confident OPM is headed in the right direction.

"It's on a good path right now, and I do think that we have put together an environment where we are encouraging the best of the best leaders to come in," she said.

She added that the agency has embraced the spirit of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act and given the CIO "centralized oversight and management of all aspects of information technology."

Asked whether she'd like to stay on as the permanent CIO, Schlosser reaffirmed that her role was temporary and said, "I won't reveal any secrets beyond that."

The focus for the next CIO will be to push OPM further along the transformative route to a fully digital organization, she added.

The CIO position pays $123,175 to $185,100. OPM is accepting applications through June 22.

About the Author

Zach Noble is a staff writer covering digital citizen services, workforce issues and a range of civilian federal agencies.

Before joining FCW in 2015, Noble served as assistant editor at the viral news site TheBlaze, where he wrote a mix of business, political and breaking news stories and managed weekend news coverage. He has also written for online and print publications including The Washington Free Beacon, The Santa Barbara News-Press, The Federalist and Washington Technology.

Noble is a graduate of Saint Vincent College, where he studied English, economics and mathematics.

Click here for previous articles by Noble, or connect with him on Twitter: @thezachnoble.


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