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FCW : October 15, 2012
22 October 15, 2012 FCW.COM Bringing the role into focus There is also the risk of confusion among senior of cials who aren t famil- iar with the goals of Clinger-Cohen. As Brubaker explained, some leaders "expect the CIO to x the BlackBerry or get them an iPad, and the CIOs, eager to please, attempt to oblige, for- ever dooming their role in the eyes of the leadership as chief geek. " Nevertheless, CIOs have clear guid- ance from OMB, and executive orders spell out their duties. As Hitch put it, CIOs areas of responsibility "are fairly well known in the CIO community." "I get that an agency may not have read the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996, but you re not going to nd too many peo- ple with a good understanding of busi- ness who don t know what a CIO is," said Linda Cureton, who as NASA s CIO has helped lead several of the govern- ment s high-pro le technology efforts. "Maybe they don t know what a CIO can do for them. It s not an issue about the law, it s a business issue: What do CIOs do for any organization?" At the national level, the CIO s role and its relationship to the chief tech- nology of cer position have been made quite clear in a way that differs from the situation at many agencies. Van- Roekel holds statutory responsibility for federal IT spending and policy set- ting while CTO Todd Park s attention is focused mainly on the technology and policies the federal government wants to push to Silicon Valley and the high- tech industry. To drive change inside the govern- ment, VanRoekel said, both budget and policy authority are needed, as well as the ability to inspire people internally and set up programs that interface with private industry. "At the end of the day, we own the mission as much as the agencies do," he added. For VanRoekel, his job means strik- ing a careful balance between inspir- ing and pushing. The inspiring aspect involves getting people excited about new initiatives, while the push compo- nent relates to policies, budget, coach- ing, and issuing guidance and memos. It s far from an individual effort and more about joining forces with CIOs governmentwide to establish target areas as a community, he said. Dave McClure, associate administra- tor of the General Services Adminis- tration s Of ce of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, echoed Van- Roekel s assessment of the role CIOs can play and the impact they have already had. "We wouldn t be talking about open data and data analytics if we didn t have CIOs around," McClure said. "The mission value of IT is much more broadly recognized at all levels." Standout CIOs Starting with Vivek Kundra and now VanRoekel, the federal CIO has domi- nated the spotlight and shaped percep- tions of what an agency CIO should be. Observers say certain CIOs at the agency level, such as the Veterans Affairs Department s Roger Baker and GSA s Casey Coleman, have emerged as forces to be reckoned with at least in part because of their budget authority. With GSA s recent move to centralize its IT control under the CIO, Coleman will have more authority, and "now The Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 instructs CIOs to: • Advise and assist the agency's top executive and other senior managers in ensuring that IT is acquired and information resources are managed appropriately. • Develop, maintain and facilitate the implementation of a robust, integrated IT architecture for the agency. • Promote the ef cient design and operation of all major information resource management processes, including improvements to work processes. • Monitor the performance of the agency s IT programs and advise the agency's top executive on whether to continue, modify, or cancel a program or project. • Evaluate the requirements for agency employees to have knowledge and skill in information resource management. • Assess whether senior and middle-management employees meet requirements for information resource management. • Create strategies and plans for hiring, training and professional development in the area of IT. • Report to agency s top executive on the progress made in improving the agency's information resource management capability. --- Camille Tuutti More on this topic: • Agency CIOs by tenure, Page 34 • New legislation that could strengthen the CIO, Page 12 • The role of the deputy CIO, on FCW.com A CIO TO-DO LIST STATE OF THE CIO
October 30, 2012