Chief Challenges

The management agenda of the decision-makers in finance, information technology, procurement and personnel.

It's hard to argue there are too many chiefs in government. If anything, there are too few. The duties of chief financial, human capital and acquisition officer often fall on only one or two people in a department. The resulting multitasking usually leaves at least one title, and sometimes all of them, underserved.

That can cause glitches in day-to-day operations and even more trouble when a key management function suddenly be-comes an emergency. That's happening more often. For example, the Army CFO is under the gun to update the books rapidly so the service can make the case for emergency funding to fix equipment it needs to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Office of Management and Budget is leaning on CIOs to consolidate technology for the lines of business effort, deliver souped-up IDs to those working in federal facilities and make way for Internet addresses for everyone and everything under the sun.

CHCOs are feeling the heat at the Defense and Homeland Security departments, where pay-for-performance systems are under assault in the courts. Pressure on CAOs mounts as spending increases while the size of the acquisition workforce falls; continuing revelations of procurement fraud by top officials and irregularities by popular interagency contract shops don't help.

C titleholders still are fighting for recognition. To win power, some CHCOs are reeling into their offices once-dispersed control over HR funding. OMB-mandated consolidation of IT infrastructure is serendipitous for CIOs, who gain jurisdiction over more systems and dollars.

It's not yet clear whether CAOs, the newest C, will gain the seat at agency leadership tables envisioned for them by the law that created them. Full-fledged CAOs are scarce. Instead, the title is held mostly by officials with myriad other duties. What's more, the new title has created hard feelings among the career procurement executives who've long performed the duties, albeit without the clout associated with political appointments.

C titles still are accumulating authority, even as their responsibilities grow. The policies they set and the decisions they make are changing the way work is accomplished, what is done, the tools used, the way money is spent and accounted for, and the very nature of the workforce.

Each group is coalescing, communicating and commiserating within its own council. The councils are drawing attention to their members, as well. But so far, there's not much cross-council collaboration. That sharing of experience, insight, expertise and lessons could more quickly catapult the chiefs into the councils of power.


Visit the Chiefs Directory online to view and download contact information from the continuously updated database of 500 key decision makers in federal finance, information technology, procurement and personnel.

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

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

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

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