E-gov reshapes CIO Council

Committees, portfolio management teams are organized around an e-government agenda

CIO Council

The federal CIO Council officially unveiled the group's internal changes Oct. 15, designed to better reflect the new role of information technology in an electronic government, said Jim Flyzik, vice chairman of the council.

The new structure maintains three standing committees — best practices and capital planning, architecture and IT workforce — and replaces the rest of the council structure with portfolio management teams focused on initiatives under the four e-government areas outlined in the president's management agenda, Flyzik said at the Industry Advisory Council's (IAC) Executive Leadership Conference in Hershey, Pa.

The e-government agenda focuses on improving federal performance in four citizen-centric areas: service to citizens, to businesses, to other government entities, and within the federal government.

During the past three months, the Office of Management and Budget's e-government task force, led by Mark Forman, the associate director for IT and e-government, developed a set of 23 crossagency, high-impact initiatives that fall under those four areas.

The President's Management Council approved those initiatives this month, and OMB said the list will be released shortly. All of the initiatives will be completed within the next two years under the leadership of the CIO Council's portfolio management team, Flyzik said.

The former E-Government Committee leaders — Treasury Department deputy chief information officer Mayi Canales and Education Department CIO Craig Luigart — will coordinate the work of the portfolio management teams, Canales said.

Those teams will be led by "managing partners" that will be pulled from all areas of government, including the financial, human resources and procurement offices, not just the CIO's office, Flyzik said.

At the conference, the Best Practices and Capital Planning Committee kicked off a study in partnership with IAC to collect successful approaches to IT portfolio management, taking the government a step beyond IT capital planning. The committee's "first practices guide" is scheduled for release by the end of this year, although it will be released in phases.

The guide will look at how public- and private-sector organizations perform the daily management and evaluation necessary to balance existing initiatives against one other within an agency's budget and mission, said Marilyn Holland, chief of the program planning and management division in the Agriculture Department's CIO office.

The committee will also be looking at best practices across the areas covered by the other committees and the portfolio management teams, looking at "what we can learn and pass on to ground [them] so they can make a difference," Holland said.

The Architecture Committee will build on the current Enterprise Interoperability and Emerging IT Committee and is a necessary part of the future of e-government because "if we're going to achieve interoperability, we have to keep a focus on the architecture," Flyzik said.

The former Security, Privacy and Critical Infrastructure Committee is still in flux as the council tries to determine how it can best support the new Office of Homeland Security and Richard Clarke in his new position as cyberspace security adviser, Flyzik said. That may still be in the form of a committee, but "I think where the CIOs need to define themselves is in support of this national effort," he said.

Right now, the council is going to wait until the president releases the executive order completing the reorganization of the governmentwide structure to lead critical infrastructure protection, he said. That order will be issued shortly, White House officials said last week.

The Federal IT Workforce Committee is the only CIO Council that will not change its current structure because it "has tremendous momentum and we didn't want to lose that," Flyzik said.

The committee recently released an update on its actions, which included last month's release of recommendations from the National Academy of Public Administration on how to reform the federal human resources system to improve the IT workforce.

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