The two dozen Cabinet departments and large independent agencies with CIOs are not putting them to their best use, GAO has said, with none of them fully compliant with federal laws and guidance and most not fully addressing any of the six key roles for them.
Of those areas of responsibility, the highest is IT leadership and accountability, with 11 deemed fully addressed, seven substantially and six partially. In contrast, 12 were found not to have addressed at all the role of the CIO in the IT workforce, six minimally, five partially and one substantially; none had addressed it fully.
The second-lowest rated function was IT strategic planning. IT budgeting, information security and IT investment management were the others.
CIOs said that the processes for hiring, recruiting and retaining IT personnel were their greatest challenge to effectively manage IT, cited as a negative by 23 of the 24. Financial resources and the availability of personnel and resources also were major hindrances, while guidance from NIST and OMB, the CIO position the agency hierarchy, coordination with the CAO and general legal authority were considered the most helpful.
GAO said that officials from most agencies “stated that their CIOs are implementing the responsibilities even when not required in policy. Nevertheless, the 24 selected CIOs acknowledged in their responses to GAO’s survey that they were not always very effective in implementing the six information technology management areas. Until agencies fully address the role of CIOs in their policies, agencies will be limited in addressing longstanding IT management challenges.”