Meet the CIOs: HHS

HHS: John Callahan

John Callahan

Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
Phone: 202-690-6396
Fax: 202-690-5405

Career Highlights:

1995-Present: HHS assistant secretary for management and budget
1979-95: Various Senate staff positions, including chief of staff for Sen. Jim Sasser, D-Tenn.

IT Budget (fiscal years):
1996: $2.83 billion
1997: $2.50 billion
1998: $2.46 billion (est.)

Priority Projects:

  • Medicare Transaction System - replacing multiple software systems with a single, standardized system.
  • Year 2000 - identifying which systems should be discontinued, modified or replaced.
  • Welfare Reform Systems - expanding computer-based Parent Locator Service and establishing a national directory of new hires and a federal case directory to track parents across state lines.

Biggest Challenges:

"Changes brought on by the Clinger-Cohen Act have organizational, cultural and business process implications that are only emerging at this stage. The concepts of capital planning and investment analysis are elevated, and risk and project management are emphasized as well."

Management Approach:

"HHS has established an IT capital planning and investment program by integrating our planning and budget systems and by developing and staffing the HHS IT Investment Review Board. The board will review new IT projects that are judged to be high risk/high return, crosscutting or require review by OMB."

On CIOs:

"The CIO's agenda in a large, decentralized agency should be to maintain strong working relationships with agency CIOs, and to ensure that matters affecting all or most of the operating agencies are addressed collaboratively."

Hottest Technologies:

"The Internet/intranet computing model will continue to dominate the technology horizon. It will force organizations to accommodate new services, such as desktop videoconferencing, and to provide a common user interface to corporate applications."

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