White House Increases Chief Information Officer Technology Power

The top technology officials at U.S. agencies will have more power to manage spending on information systems under an Obama administration policy aimed at keeping projects on schedule and in budget.

Federal chief information officers will have greater authority to review technology investments, eliminate redundant programs, hire managers to oversee projects and implement security programs for agency networks, according to an Aug. 8 White House memo.

The new responsibilities will mean “CIOs will be held accountable for lowering operational costs, terminating and turning around troubled projects and delivering meaningful functionality at a faster rate while enhancing security of information systems,” Jack Lew, director of the Office of Management and Budget said in the memo, which was posted on an OMB blog.

The change is part of a restructuring of government information technology that began under former U.S. Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra. His successor, Steven VanRoekel, took over the post Aug. 5 and has vowed to continue the initiative.

“These reforms were developed to remedy what had become routine in Washington: IT projects running over budget, falling behind schedule, or failing to deliver promised functionality, hampering agency missions and wasting taxpayer dollars,” VanRoekel wrote in the blog entry.

To contact the reporter on this story: Juliann Neher in Washington at jfrancis31@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Allan Holmes at aholmes25@bloomberg.net

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