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FCW : May 15, 2016
is the fiscal 2017 funding level for VA IT approved by House and Senate appropriations committees $4.2 billion Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) has warned against rigid IT budgeting that he said can lead agencies to make bad spending decisions. The notion that “if you don’t spend it, you lose it [is] the wrong kind of incentive to have in purchasing IT goods and servic- es,” he said in an April 12 interview. “Philosophi- cally, if an agency realizes savings, they should be able to use that savings to do other things in their network,” added Hurd, who is chair- man of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s IT Subcommittee. Hurd spoke with FCW the day after House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) introduced a bill to set up a revolving $3.1 billion fund that agen- cies could draw on to upgrade out- dated IT systems. During a speech at the FireEye Government Forum cybersecurity event, Hurd expressed optimism that Hoyer’s bill could win bipartisan support. However, he blasted the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments for their failure to deliver full interoper- ability of electronic health records. DOD and VA “are the two largest health care providers in the world,” he said, “and if they were able to figure out how to get their electronic health records to talk to each other, that’s probably going to be a standard.” He also urged agencies to contin- ue to empower their CIOs: “The CIO should not be sitting in the basement when the agency head’s on the fifth floor.” — Sean Lyngaas Hurd warns against rigid IT budgeting May 15, 2016 FCW.COM 9 WHITEHOUSE.GOV FBI Director James Comey has picked Gordon Bitko, a Rand scholar and current FBI employee, to be the bureau’s CIO. Brian Truchon, a 30-year veteran of the bureau, has been serving in an acting capacity since Jerome Pender stepped down as CIO last August. Judging by a January posting for the job, it will require not only playing the CIO’s traditional managerial role but also going out in the field to bet- ter understand the FBI’s operational and technology needs. Among the proj- ects under Bitko’s charge will be the Sentinel case man- agement system. The estimated $500 million project has been plagued by delays, but CTO Jeffrey Johnson now claims it to be a success story in agile development. Furthermore, the FBI is seeking $85 million in added cybersecurity funding for fiscal 2017, part of which will go to upgrading hardware and software. The Defense Intelligence Agency has picked Melissa Drisko, a career intelligence official with experience managing a big technology portfo- lio, to be the agency’s No. 2 official. Drisko has served as DIA’s director of science and technology and in sev- eral other positions in the intelligence community. Her appointment as deputy director is effective in August. She will replace Douglas Wise, who is retiring. DIA Director Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart praised Drisko as “the right choice as a partner in leading this agency. She speaks truth to power, unbiased and unblemished.” As science and technology director, Drisko oversaw a portfolio covering advanced technologies, “foreign mate- riel exploitation,” and measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT), according to DIA spokesman James Kudla. MASINT is intelligence gleaned from data that is not signals intelligence or imagery, and it uses sources such as radar signatures or chemical compositions, according to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Drisko is currently DIA’s director for rank-in-person implementation, meaning she is in charge of how the agency assess- es personnel performance. She joined DIA as deputy chief financial execu- tive in 2007. She has also worked for the CIA, the Office of Naval Intel- ligence and the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research. After more than five years with the Peace Corps, including two as deputy CIO, Vince Groh will be moving to the CIO position at the Millennium Chal- lenge Corporation. MCC, which provides grants to developing countries that have U.S.- approved governance and economic freedoms, advertised the vacancy in August 2015. Groh’s new gig will entail advising senior staff on technology infrastruc- ture, keeping technology current and maintaining compliance with federal regulations. Groh’s bosses said he will be missed at the Peace Corps. In a farewell email message, Acting Associate Director for Global Operations Ken Yamashita called Groh “one of our great cham- pions of field operations in the Office of the Chief Information Officer.” Groh’s last day at the Peace Corps was April 1. — FCW staff FCW Insider: People on the move Rep. Will Hurd Douglas Wise Melissa Drisko DIA/DEFENSE.GOV 0515fcw_003-010.indd 9 4/19/16 3:36 PM
April 30, 2016
May 30, 2016