Klopp stays on board as SSA CIO for now
- By Chase Gunter
- Jan 23, 2017
Rob Klopp, CIO of the Social Security Administration, told FCW that the Trump administration asked him to continue in his role to provide continuity as the new White House settles in. Klopp said he would stay at SSA "for at least the next few months," but did not have a definite end date in mind.
Shortly after Election Day during an IT Subcommittee of the House Oversight Committee hearing, Klopp demurred when subcommittee chairman Will Hurd (R-Texas) asked if he would hypothetically stay on board during the Trump administration.
The SSA CIO is in the middle of a wide-ranging IT infrastructure modernization project. In a recent post on CIO.gov, Klopp announced the deployment of the first piece of this effort, a disability case processing system dubbed DCPS2.
Klopp said that the Trump administration's agency beachhead teams have shown a keen interest in learning about what SSA is working on in terms of IT modernization.
"The teams we've met with have really capable guys who are really interested in what we're doing and how they can help and keep it going," he said.
Beachhead teams are "essentially your day-one appointees that are non-Senate confirmed," director of the Center for Presidential Transition at the Partnership for Public Service David Eagles told FCW. "The White House has a lot of discretion with these positions."
The responsibilities of these teams are "to better understand how agencies work and to open the formal lines between the White House and agencies," Eagles said. "Technically, there's a term with these roles, but generally, these people in the agencies will end up staying as permanent political appointees" at the agencies with which they meet.
Klopp said he's meeting people who want to make sure SSA has the tools and resources it needs to continue its modernization projects, and noted their particular interest in helping with the adoption of agile methodology. And despite the transition, Klopp said, it is business as usual in his office -- though he acknowledged that might not be the same across government.
Chase Gunter is a staff writer covering civilian agencies, workforce issues, health IT, open data and innovation.
Prior to joining FCW, Gunter reported for the C-Ville Weekly in Charlottesville, Va., and served as a college sports beat writer for the South Boston (Va.) News and Record. He started at FCW as an editorial fellow before joining the team full-time as a reporter.
Gunter is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where his emphases were English, history and media studies.
Click here for previous articles by Gunter, or connect with him on Twitter: @WChaseGunter