Many CIOs Support IT Reform Legislation

By Joseph Marks

May 2, 2013

Many government chief information officers think a proposed congressional overhaul that would give them broader authority over how their agencies buy information technology is a “step in the right direction,” according to TechAmerica’s CIO Insights survey released Thursday.

CIOs aren’t all of one mind, though, about provisions of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act that would give them authority to shift IT budget priorities and to cut funding to over budget or underperforming projects, Grant Thornton Principal George DelPrete said. Grant Thornton sponsored the survey with TechAmerica.

In congressional testimony, CIOs have typically avoided saying whether such budget authority would be helpful. Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel has said authority over IT spending is less important than CIOs having “a seat at the table” during agency mission discussions with other high ranking officials.

“In some departments, the amount of IT spending [CIOs] control is as low as 1 percent,” DelPrete said, “so it’s hard to make them accountable for that. [But] not all of the folks we interviewed felt you could give complete control to a departmental CIO so the one-size-fits-all model is not going to work. CIOs need a mix of budget visibility, accountability and responsibility.”

One suggestion, DelPrete added, “was perhaps departmental CIOs could be responsible for the infrastructure, commodity enterprise applications and software, and program CIOs could control mission applications.”

The survey was based on in-person interviews with government CIOs, information resources management officials, and relevant congressional staffers. All answers were anonymous in the final report.

The survey also found:

(Image via Orhan Cam/

By Joseph Marks

May 2, 2013