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Posts Tagged ‘CIO

DorobekINSIDER: Roger Baker to leave VA ‘in the near future’

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Roger BakerRoger Baker, the chief information officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs, is leaving that post “in the near future.”

Baker doesn’t offer a final date, but some insiders suggest it could be as soon as March 1.

In the time of transition, Baker is the latest to announce that he is leaving his post. NASA CIO Linda Cureton announced she is leaving that post at the end of the month.

At VA, Baker oversees IT for the government’s second largest agency — a $3.3 billion budget and more than 7,000 IT workers.

The VA under Baker, who was confirmed by the Senate in May, 2009, has made remarkable progress and he has won just about every award — including Federal Computer Week’s 2013 Federal 100 award.  

The VA CIO is in a unique position given that post has power over government spending. In 2010, when Baker was recognized with the GCN civilian executive of the year, he stressed the importance of having the power of the purse and his ability to use that authority to bring about change. VA’s success should be a lesson to the rest of government, he said. Because VA has a consolidated IT appropriation, it allows Baker and his staff to force changes. “Money is power in the government,” he said. “Money is love.”

“The consolidated IT appropriation is absolutely essential to driving real change in the IT results of an agency,” he noted at the time, and he future said that all federal CIOs should have authority over their IT budgets, he added. “The results at VA, the second largest federal agency, speak for themselves,” Baker said. “Empower CIOs to make real change happen.”

Read Baker’s note to staff following the break:

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Written by cdorobek

February 15, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

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DorobekINSIDER: OMB memo lays out the policies to secure cloud computing using FedRAMP

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The Office of Management and Budget this morning posted a new memo [PDF or below] by Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel laying out the administration’s initiative for cloud computing security.

FedRAMP logoKnown as FedRAMP — Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program— it is a government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. This approach uses a “do once, use many times” framework that will save cost, time, and staff required to conduct redundant agency security assessments.

The memo, titled Security Authorization of Information Systems in Cloud Computing Environments, has been widely anticipated and lays out the administration’s steps toward securing cloud computing.

Earlier this year, at a speech in California, VanRoekel suggested that FedRAMP could become mandatory.

Cloud computing is at the heart of the Obama administration’s key technology initiatives and is a prominent part of the White House 25 point IT reform plan [PDF].

View this document on Scribd

Written by cdorobek

December 8, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Too much good stuff for a Friday radio show

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I don’t like to schedule too much good stuff for a Friday radio show because… well, let’s be honest, I think that we are all kind of tired on a Friday and do we really want tooooo much heavy lifting on the way home on a Friday afternoon?

That being said, it has been a big week and… we have lots of good stuff on Federal News Radio’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris this afternoon.

  • EPA’s Marcus Peacock: Peacock is a CJD-fav. A little known fact — Peacock was actually the first government official to host a public blog. But he is a political who has been in government for awhile. So this is going to be the first of our “exit interviews” — seeking to tap into some of the lessons learned from those who will be leaving office on Jan. 20. In particular, Peacock has led EPA into the government 2.0 rehlm. So… we’re going to talk to him about how difficult that change is… whehter it is all it is cracked up to be is it just a lot of hype… and the role of leadership. He is a very smart guy. One quick Peacock aside: When I was at Federal Computer Week, I ran the Government Leadership Summit, which is an intimate gathering of the best and the brightest to think about how they can do their jobs better. We did the first government 2.0 conference, thanks in large part to Paul McCloskey, the former FCW editor in chief who helped run the Summit. McCloskey, now editor of 1105 GovInfo’s Government Health IT magazine, has one of the keenest minds of anybody I know. It was at that Summit that I met the EPA CIO Molly O’Neill. She got a lot out of the Summit — and used what she had learned to push EPA to try out some of these Web 2.0 activities. At the next Summit, held earlier this year, Peacock attended. He didn’t come as a speaker. He came as an attendee because he wanted to learn even more. It still is just inspiring to me that the number two guy at EPA would take the time out to look at issues in a new way. It is why I am so impressed with EPA’s radon videos — they came from front line EPA members. It is a sign of transformation. So I’m excited to talk to Peacock today.
  • Microsoft’s Teresa Carlson: I told you earlier about the promotion for Microsoft’s Teresa Carlson to head up Microsoft Federal. We will have her first interview since that announcement this afternoon. We’ll ask her about her goals, what Microsoft can do for government, and how a company like Microsoft sees the government market these days.
  • OMB’s Karen Evans… I have been going on and on and on about the OMB CIO memo…. This afternoon, we’ll talk to Evans about the memo and why it matters.
  • SBA acting administrator… talking about how agencies are doing with small business requirements.

And, of course, you get to hear my Friday Fun Day Jazz Hands.

We just may have to come back and do a Saturday show! (KIDDING!)

Federal News Radio… 1500 AM and

Written by cdorobek

October 24, 2008 at 10:46 AM

Posted in CIOs, Federal News Radio, Industry, OMB, Policy

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Read a draft of the much discussed OMB CIO memo

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We’ve been telling you about the memo — due out any time now — that will outline the role of the CIO. You first read about the memo on the DorobekInsider a few weeks ago… and then we got OMB’s Karen Evans to give us some details… and you can hear Evans talk about it yourself

The official memo isn’t out yet, but… we’ve obtained a draft of that memo.

After meeting with the departments and agencies regarding their Information Technology (IT) portfolio, I want to reaffirm and clarify the organizational, functional and operational governance framework required within the Executive Branch for managing and optimizing the effective use of IT. The IT governance framework addresses management structure, responsibilities and authorities of Heads of Departments and Agencies and their Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in planning, acquiring, securing, and operating and managing IT systems and assets within the agency. Please note the IT governance framework is not inclusive of all duties and responsibilities of CIOs.

Read more… and find a link to the full draft after the break…

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Written by cdorobek

October 20, 2008 at 5:42 PM

Posted in CIOs, Executives, OMB

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Who might be the government’s CIO… er, CTO?

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BusinessWeek today has a piece, headlined, “The Short List for U.S. Chief Technology Officer: Barack Obama has pledged to name a cabinet-level CTO to oversee a job-creating national broadband buildout if he’s elected. Big names abound.”

Among the names are Vint Cerf, Steve Ballmer, Jeff Bezos, and Ed Felten, a prominent professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama has proposed the creation of a CTO in government.

Bring Government into the 21st Century: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will use technology to reform government and improve the exchange of information between the federal government and citizens while ensuring the security of our networks. Obama and Biden believe in the American people and in their intelligence, expertise, and ability and willingness to give and to give back to make government work better. Obama will appoint the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to ensure that our government and all its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies and services for the 21st century. The CTO will ensure the safety of our networks and will lead an interagency effort, working with chief technology and chief information officers of each of the federal agencies, to ensure that they use best-in-class technologies and share best practices.

Unfortunately we simply don’t know much more about what the CTO will do other then what it says above.

The BusinessWeek piece had these thoughts:

A White House CTO would be expected to help create incentive programs to expand broadband’s reach, particularly tax credits for smaller carriers. But the tech czar would almost certainly be deeply involved in overseeing a federally-backed $50 billion venture capital fund that Obama has proposed to develop more environmentally friendly technology.

Again, just not much there. That’s largely because I’m not sure Team Obama has thought about it.

To be fair, there isn’t much more of a plan on the other side. Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain’s technology plan have the same platitudes about making more information available online… and then there is this line:

Since 2001, he has called for an Office of Electronic Government to set a strategic vision for implementation of electronic government.

Somebody might want to let the campaign know that Karen Evans is, in fact, OMB’s Administrator of E-Government and Information Technology. So, I’m all for fighting the good fight, but… if he is still fighting for that office to be created, he can let it go. He won!

Written by cdorobek

October 20, 2008 at 10:03 AM

Evans offers details on the coming memo defining the CIO

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OMB’s Karen Evans was speaking at the AFFIRM lunch today — 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 Miller on talking about the memo. Hear that conversation here .mp3]

Of course, agency CIOs have been required for more than a decade. They were mandated by the Clinger-Cohen Act. But since then, the government IT community loves to debate the role of the CIO — and we always hear about CIOs having a ‘seat at the table.’

The Bush administration will publish a memo — as soon as next Monday, Oct. 20 — defining the role of agency CIOs. And Evens said today that information technology is managed very differently in different agencies, and the memo will seek to put a framework around the position — particularly as the government heads into the transition period.

“What we wanted to do was to re-emphasize clearly that it is important that information technology be managed through the transition and be managed on an ongoing basis,” she said.

Evans was very frank about the memo — not that she isn’t usually frank, but…

The memo will focus on the procurement and human capital provisions of the CIO post, Evans said. OMB used as its basis the memo issued by the Homeland Security Department Secreatary Michael Chertoff. The big difference, of course, is that the DHS memo gave the CIO the power of the purse — budget control over IT spending initiatives. I’m told that this memo will not include budget authority.

Here is FCW’s March 2007 story about the DHS CIO announcement. I also made it FCW’s Buzz of the Week for the week of March 19, 2007… and the following week, in FCW’s editorial, under the headline Show ’em the money, I gave DHS credit for giving the DHS CIO spending authority over IT spending.

A few interesting points. One is that DHS, of course, has not made that memo public. DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff first announced these new provisions at a meeting of the Northern Virginia Technology Council in March 2007. (My original post back when I was the FCW Insider.) DHS doesn’t even have that speech posted.

Furthermore, again when I was at FCW, when FCW’s Ben Bain and I sat down for a conversation with DHS CIO Richard Mangonia, he specifically said that the DHS reporting structure didn’t matter.

FCW: How important is it who you report to within the organization?
Mangogna: I get my authority based on my understanding of what needs to get done and the values I get from the secretary, deputy secretary and the undersecretary for management. I don’t need any more direction than that, and I don’t think you have to manage this job by mandatory documents going down to all the CIOs and telling them to do this and that.

The reporting structure isn’t important in terms of leadership — I always say that leadership isn’t about any position. It is about getting people to believe what you believe. The reporting structure, like an agency’s budget, does say something about what an organization values. So it is perhaps interesting that OMB is using DHS as the model for this memo. DHS, after all, is one of the agencies that does not follow the Clinger-Cohen Act requirement that the CIO report to the head of the agency.

Finally, it is important to note that there are only two agencies that how the ‘power of the (IT) purse’ — DHS, by policy, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, by law.

Back to Evans for a moment… She noted that the memo is focusing on information technology, not on information management. That is largely because the information management issue ends up involving so many different parts of different organizations that it would just never get done — particularly with the amount of time left in the Bush administration.

This memo seems to be developing out the the upcoming transition, but… it seems like something that could have been done a long time ago.

Some related reading on this topic:

* FCW was at the AFFIRM event today and has a story.
* In the September issue of AFFIRM’s Signal magazine, Lt. Gen. Harry D. Raduege Jr., USAF (Ret.), the former head of the Defense Information Systems Agency, has a piece headlined, Government Oversight and the CIO . The piece has sturred some buzz around the government IT community. The money quote:

It is time for a major step toward achieving CCA strategic business benefits. This step should be to assign CIOs holistic responsibility for the areas noted above instead of allowing competitive activity outside the CIOs’responsibility and domain. After 12 years, it is time to recruit and train better CIOs, eliminate the gap between the CCA and actual practices, and give CIOs the authority needed to succeed.

* Finally, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), as part of his technology platform, has proposed creating a government CTO. Here is what it says on his Web site:

Bring Government into the 21st Century: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will use technology to reform government and improve the exchange of information between the federal government and citizens while ensuring the security of our networks. Obama and Biden believe in the American people and in their intelligence, expertise, and ability and willingness to give and to give back to make government work better. Obama will appoint the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to ensure that our government and all its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies and services for the 21st century. The CTO will ensure the safety of our networks and will lead an interagency effort, working with chief technology and chief information officers of each of the federal agencies, to ensure that they use best-in-class technologies and share best practices.

Of course, it is unclear how this CTO will work within OMB… with CIOs… Sooooo many questions… About 20 days and we’ll at least begin to know who we go to for answers.

I’m fascinated by this and I’m going to keep on it because it seems important to me — and could be a real opportunity for CIOs and the CIO Council. I’m going to be following it closely. Tomorrow on Federal News Radio’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we’re going to talk to Roger Baker, the former Commerce Department CIO. (Baker was on Federal News Radio’s InDepth program last month talking about the concept of a CTO. It is worth a listen.)

Written by cdorobek

October 14, 2008 at 7:54 PM

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

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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

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DorobekInsider: Who’s going to be the acting Interior CIO?

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So Mike Howell has reported for duty at his new post as the Office of Management and Budget’s deputy administrator for e-government and information technology, the federal government’s senior career IT position. But people are still awaiting word on who will be the Interior CIO — acting or otherwise.

Most people believe that Jerry Williams will take that post. Williams, of course, joined Interior earlier this year, replacing Ed Meagher, who retired from government service to join SRA. But there is an ongoing — dare we call it conflict — between Interior headquarters and the bureaus and there are some who believe one of the Interior bureau CIOs would be better suited to the post.

I keep checking to see if the new CIO post has been filled. I don’t believe it has yet, but if somebody knows more then I do… let me know.

As we say in radio, stay tuned.

Written by cdorobek

September 22, 2008 at 5:50 PM

Posted in CIOs, Whose In and Whose Out

Tagged with , Does the government need a CTO?

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One of the big debates ongoing in the government IT community surrounds the proposal from Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama to create a federal chief technology officer. (You can read Obama’s technology plan here.)

On Federal News Radio’s mid-day show, InDepth with Francis Rose, on Friday, they had two former CIOs — Roger Baker, the former Commerce Department CIO and Ed Meagher, the former Interior deputy CIO, now with SRA — on the show to debate the issue. (Hear the full interview here. .mp3) Baker gives the idea a thumbs up — he believes the position would give the government a more strategic view of technology — while Meagher gave it a maybe and said there needs to be more details.

There was a fascinating piece in the most recent issue of Technology Review, published by MIT, that featured a interview with Mitch Kapor, who headed Lotus Development, which created the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet program. The story has a simple headline: Does the U.S. Need a CTO?: Mitch Kapor, a pioneer of personal computing, says the position is vital given the growing importance of technology. The interview makes for an interesting read, but unfortunately Kapor still didn’t offer any more details.

Mitch Kapor likes beginnings. In 1982, he founded Lotus Development, which made the popular spreadsheet program Lotus 1-2-3. In 1990, he cofounded the ­Electronic Frontier Foundation, a political­-­advocacy and legal organization that champions free speech and privacy. And in 2003, he became the founding chair of the Mozilla Foundation, which is responsible for the open-source Web browser Firefox. Today, Kapor sits on the boards of such companies as ­Linden Research, and he heads his eponymous foundation, which provides grants to San Francisco Bay Area organizations working with low-income communities on educational and environmental issues.

Last fall, Kapor was called upon to help Senator Barack Obama define his technology positions. Kapor suggested that Obama, if elected president, should install a federal chief tech­nology officer. Conservatives grumbled at the idea of another layer of bureaucracy, but Kapor and others in Silicon Valley say the government needs cohesive technology practices and policies.

It is easy to get wrapped around the sympatic question of whether this CTO would just be a glorified federal CIO, or whether it would decrease the impact of government CIOs, which I think would be disappointing.

Both the Federal News Radio and the interview are interesting — and the subject deserves more attention.

Written by cdorobek

September 21, 2008 at 9:04 PM Graves the new DHS deputy CIO

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Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller has confirmed that Margie Graves is the new deputy chief information officer at the Homeland Security Department.

The Homeland Security Department has named Margie Graves as the new deputy chief information officer.

In her new role, Graves becomes the highest ranking career employee in the CIO’s office and will take over for current CIO Richard Mangogna when he leaves office in January.

A DHS spokesman confirmed Graves will take over for Charlie Armstrong, who became the Customs and Border Protection CIO in June.

Graves has been with DHS since 2003 and in the office of the CIO as the director of the DHS enterprise management business office since 2004. In that role, Graves helped establish enterprise strategies for providing IT services, such as porfolio management, across all of DHS.

This is one of the biggest jobs in government — leading DHS through it’s very first transition from the Bush administration to the Whomever administration.

I’m not sure I know Graves… and I can’t even find a photo of her online, let alone a bio. It’s a big gig.

Written by cdorobek

September 16, 2008 at 6:44 PM