OMB to focus on hiring new project managers, security in 2004

The Bush administration's proposed $59 billion information technology budget for 2004 will enable the Office of Management and Budget to hire more managers for electronic government projects and revamp training programs for existing managers, an OMB official told an industry group in Santa Clara, Calif. on Tuesday.

As a large group of federal employees reach retirement age, OMB will recruit technology-savvy managers who can aid efforts to modernize and consolidate existing computer systems, said Mark Forman, OMB's associate director of IT and e-government.

"We're looking for people who can give us solutions," he said. "Now we have too many people with an invested interest in the status quo."

IT projects will need managers who can motivate employees and build on recent progress in overcoming a cultural resistance to change, Forman said. Successful managers will also have to formulate plans to address long range IT concerns and will need to concentrate on simplifying and unifying computer systems in key areas, such as financial management and human resources.

In addition, IT managers will have to sharpen their skills in making good business cases for project funding and in avoiding cost overruns, Forman said. They will need to find ways to save money by taking advantage of buying large quantities, standardizing equipment, using existing technology to its full capacity and eliminating redundant systems, he added.

The way IT officials spend the 2004 budget will also reflect the recent national focus on homeland security, Forman said. Agencies will need to work on securing existing computer networks against hackers before tackling new systems, Forman said.

To help in this effort, 8 percent of IT expenditures in 2004 will go toward security, up about 3 percent from this year, said James Kane, president and chief executive officer of Federal Sources Inc., a market research firm in McLean, Va.

Enhanced security, coupled with more energetic managers who have solid business skills, will make the federal IT market even more attractive to private companies, like those in Silicon Valley, Kane predicted. Recently the government market has looked good to companies frustrated with the sluggish economy, but the attraction should continue to grow even in an economic upswing, because the federal market is growing and relatively stable, Kane said. Usually, companies also do not need to make a large up-front investment to enter the federal market, he added.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.