Critical Read

Seven steps to a smooth transition

Capitol Building/Presidential inauguration 

"Transforming Government Through Technology," ACT-IAC's collection of recommendations for the next president-elect's transition team.

Why: On Nov. 9 (we hope!), the presidential election results will be clear and the next administration's transition efforts will pivot from preparation to execution.  When that happens, a broad group of industry and government IT leaders stand ready with a raft of recommendations for budgeting, cybersecurity, human capital, performance management, intergovernmental coordination, innovation and ways to improve citizen experience with federal agencies.

More than 200 members of ACT-IAC helped to shape the recommendations in an effort chaired by former Department of Veterans Affairs CIO Roger Baker and former Office of E-Government and Information Technology Administrator Mark Forman. 

Forman, now the global head of Unisys Public Sector, presented the report at ACT-IAC's Executive Leadership Conference on Oct. 25 along with several of the lead writers.  "The goal of the effort is really to provide the next administration with the key insights that ensure that whatever the government does, it does it well," he said.  "These are not, 'geez, we've gotta fix a little bit here and there in government.' …You’ve got the opportunity to really change how government works, so here’s what needs to be done."

On cybersecurity, for example, the report urged to the next administration to "recognize that the battle over current systems is lost, put executives in place that recognize and can deal with the problem, and provide those executives with authorities necessary to change the tide of the cyber-battle being waged. "

When it comes to putting the citizen experience first, the report calls for an executive order from the next president that makes "delivering an experience that exceeds the public's expectations” an explicit and measurable goal for agencies. 

Also included are specific recommendations for changing the hiring process for mission critical occupations and steps to encourage multi-year funding and working capital funds. 

The report is just the beginning of ACT-IAC's support of the transition, said IAC Chair and Veris Group Chief Strategist Dave McClure. The next few months are a "very influential time," he said at the ACT-IAC event.  "We don’t just issue the paper and walk away. We're planning to engage with the transition teams, and engage with the incoming appointees."

Verbatim:  "Government has largely failed to keep pace with industry's business transformation and information technology revolution. Despite spending over $80 billion annually on information technology, most federal agencies have seen little change in how they perform their work or interact and transact with citizens, businesses, and other governments.  ...The themes of this election year make it clear that voters believe government, and particularly its outcomes, must change."

For the full report, click here.

About the Author

Troy K. Schneider is editor-in-chief of FCW and GCN, as well as General Manager of Public Sector 360.

Prior to joining 1105 Media in 2012, Schneider was the New America Foundation’s Director of Media & Technology, and before that was Managing Director for Electronic Publishing at the Atlantic Media Company. The founding editor of, Schneider also helped launch the political site in the mid-1990s, and worked on the earliest online efforts of the Los Angeles Times and Newsday. He began his career in print journalism, and has written for a wide range of publications, including The New York Times,, Slate, Politico, National Journal, Governing, and many of the other titles listed above.

Schneider is a graduate of Indiana University, where his emphases were journalism, business and religious studies.

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


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