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Archive for July 7th, 2009

DorobekInsider: New DOT CFO nominee… and a possible DOT CIO nominee

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The Obama administration has nominated Christopher P. Bertram to be the Transportation Department’s chief financial officer, otherwise known by the wonderful title of Assistant Secretary for Budget and Programs.

From the White House write-up:

Christopher P. Bertram, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Budget and Programs and Chief Financial Officer, Department of Transportation
Christopher P. Bertram is currently a professional staff member with the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. In that position, he has been responsible for legislation related to aviation, auto and highway safety, transportation security, railroads, and fuel efficiency standards for automobiles. Prior to joining the Commerce Committee, Bertram served as the Federal Aviation Administration’s Assistant Administrator for Financial Services and Chief Financial Officer. Bertram earned a Master in Public Policy degree from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity University.

Meanwhile, we are hearing that Nitin Harban may be nominated as the new DOT CIO. NOTE: This is not confirmed, but his name has been making its way in and around DOT. But it is important to stress that there is no official announcement from the White House… yet. I don’t know Harban — to be honest, I’m not sure I’m spelling his name correctly. I stand to be corrected. If you know him or have information about him, let me know.

Written by cdorobek

July 7, 2009 at 12:59 PM Catching up on the past week while I was away — dashboards, salaries, and a PSA

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I’ve been working throughout the day to catch up on what I missed over the past week while I was away with some time off. (I often post while I’m away. It is somewhat surprising when you go places that aren’t hyper-connected.) Shockingly, more than a week later, people are still abuzz about Michael Jackson — really?

Anyway, some of the stories that happened while we were away…

Despite being a fairly quiet pre-Fourth of July week, there was a lot going on… the Personal Democracy Forum’s PdF Conference was held in New York… among other things…

* The federal IT dashboard

At the PdF Conference, Obama administration CIO Vivek Kundra unveiled the federal IT dashboard, which you can see for yourself at Kundra had first announced the dashboard down at ACT/IAC’s Management of Change conference about a month ago and has been developed by Herndon, VA-based REI Systems — and very quickly, I might add. When Kundra first unveiled the dashboard at MOC, he had only briefed federal CIOs a few days earlier.

Also last week, Kundra, together with White House Director of New Media Macon Phillips, held a live chat on talking technology, information, transparency, and the dashboard. They have posted the full discussion

Federal News Radio 1500 AM has been covering dashboards — what they are and why they matter. The gave you the first glimpse of the federal IT dashboard from MOCFederal News Radio’s Jason Miller reported on the official unveiling of the dashboard, as he did about the dashboard preview a month ago… On the Daily Debrief, we spoke to John Cimral, the former CEO of ProSight, which created a commercial software product for creating these dashboards. The company has since been bought by Oracle and Cimral has moved on, but we asked him for insights about how difficult it is to create these dashboards. Hear that conversation here... we also spoke to Maxwell Anderson, the CEO and director of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which was one of the early organizations that uses a public dashboard as a management tool. Hear that conversation here.

There is much consternation among government IT executives about the dashboard. I have reached out to a number of them seeking what the real concerns are… and I’ll report back…

* White House salaries posted

The White House posted the salaries of White House staff, and, as TechPresident noted, they did it on… and they used, a tool that Federal News Radio 1500 AM told you about when it went live. Hear about it here.

One of the curious things about that data: Apparently Patricia G. McGinnis is working for the White House — for a salary of $0. You may remember McGinnis — most recently, she was the executive director of the former Council for Excellence in Government, which essentially failed and was subsumed by the Partnership for Public Service. McGinnis is now listed by the White House as an advisor. I have no idea what she is doing for the White House — for no pay. (Hat tip to, which has an interesting read on how White House salaries are determined.)

* PSA had done some very fun public service announcements — one of my favorites was a Wizard of Oz take off. The newest PSA is out.

How far have we come? For the Wizard of Oz PSA, I actually had to upload the video to YouTube because GSA officials couldn’t. There were Google terms of service that violated government rules. Those have since been resolved and GSA uploaded thePSA on YouTube — and other video sites — for people to see.