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FCW : August 30, 2016
August 30, 2016 FCW.COM 17 The federal CIO community has a bit of a problem. The Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act gives agency CIOs significantly more authority and appears to be gaining traction that the Clinger- Cohen Act’s reforms never managed. But with that authority come substantial new responsibilities, and those responsibilities call for skills that some CIOs might not have. That’s not a knock on the individuals them- selves; the job has changed dramatically while they were in it. But for FITARA to be effective, agency CIOs will need to bring some additional tools to the table now that Congress has man- dated that they have a seat at it. U.S. CIO Tony Scott acknowledged as much at a recent event on FITARA implementation. The Office of Management and Budget is working on a revised job description that could serve as a template for CIO jobs across government as part of “a whole series of things [that] are really pointed at that question,” he said. “I do think it’ll take a different kind of person than maybe what we’ve traditionally [consid- ered],” he added. Richard Spires, who served as CIO at the IRS and the Department of Homeland Security, told FCW that Scott’s comments were an important recognition of the skills gap. “Some agencies, I know — I know for a fact — are not being as aggressive as the law says they should be,” said Spires, who is now CEO of Learning Tree International. “They don’t feel that they have, either in their own skill set or their team’s skill set, the ability to do some of these things well yet. And so you’ve got this dynamic that the very people we’re empowering in some instances are not feeling that they’re able to step up to the job.” Dan Chenok, executive director of the IBM Center for the Business of Government, told FCW that although he couldn’t speak to the specific efforts Scott mentioned, he agreed that today’s CIOs must have an impressive array of skills. “In a networked world, where analytics are the order of the day in terms of what drives decision- making, the ideal CIO has an understanding of the effects of modern technology, a way to translate that into strategy for the organization and a way to communicate that strategy to their colleagues FITARA has raised the bar for what’s expected of agency CIOs, and efforts are under way to make sure the government hires accordingly The IT leadership that agencies need BY TROY K. SCHNEIDER DRAGUTINCVIJANOVIC 0830fcw_016-021.indd 17 8/10/16 9:13 AM
August 15, 2016
September 15, 2016