Focusing on six words: Helping government do its job better

OMB to memo on the role of the CIO (Hint: There should be one)

with 4 comments

Yes, there are only 21 days until election day… 98 days until inauguration day… but Clay Johnson, OMB’s deputy director for management, is going to put out a memo — possibly as early as this week — on the role of the CIO.

More than a decade after the Clinger-Cohen Act was passed that mandated agencies have a chief information officer, the role of theCIO is still being fully fleshed out. In some agencies, it is the person who makes sure that the e-mail gets through and that the BlackBerries work. In the best agencies, the CIO has — dare I say it — the CIO has the infamous “seat at the table.” (Even the phrase “a seat at the table” has grown to have almost nirvana-like qualities — ‘if I only had a seat at the table.’)

In my humble opinion — and I would love to be corrected — few CIOs are truly active members of agency senior leadership teams. And often times CIOs can get so tied up in making sure all the IT works and that systems are on track, that they just don’t have time to be the strategic player.

Some of the best organizations — public or private sector — are ones that use IT to accomplish their missions.

I’m hearing that the memo will remind agencies about what the role of the CIO should be.

It’s interesting because there are some who think that OMB has undercut the role of the CIO in recent years. More on that later.

Written by cdorobek

October 13, 2008 at 10:11 AM

Posted in CIOs, Management, OMB, Policy

Tagged with ,

4 Responses

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  1. This administration will be judged by the results its policies achieved and not the memos it leaves behind.


    October 13, 2008 at 4:50 PM

  2. Yes OMB undercut CIOs. Who would even want someone at their table if all they can do is parrot blind compliance. If you’re at the table, you should be strategic. But if you’re strategic, OMB will beat it out of you … eventually.


    October 14, 2008 at 12:00 AM

  3. […] — and I took the opportunity to ask her about the coming OMB memo defining the CIO, which I told you about last week. (Today on Federal News Radio’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we had Jason […]

  4. Should be one? If it were only one, we’d be better off. As far as I can tell, every office has one.


    October 15, 2008 at 1:24 PM

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