President Trump has issued an executive order designed to strengthen the role of agency CIOs, designating them as the “primary strategic advisor to the agency head” on “all annual and multi-year planning, programming, budgeting, and execution decisions, as well as in all management, governance, and oversight processes related to IT.”
All CIOs will now report directly to the heads of their agencies; will be voting members of bureau-level IT governance boards; will have the authority to review and approve the entire agency IT portfolio; and will have approval authority over hiring CIOs for component organizations.
The order also instructs agencies to “eliminate unnecessary IT management functions; merge or reorganize agency IT functions to promote agency-wide consolidation of the agency’s IT infrastructure, taking into account any recommendations of the relevant agency CIO; and increase use of industry best practices, such as the shared use of IT solutions within agencies and across the executive branch.” They also are to “prioritize procurement of shared IT services, including modern email and other cloud-based services.”
The intent is to “increase the ability of agency CIOs to influence decision making across bureaus and drive an enterprise-wide view of IT,” a White House fact sheet says. Multiple laws “have sought to consolidate IT spending authority and responsibility and bring them under the management of agency CIOs” but “most agency CIOs still have limited control over IT spending,” it says.
The result, it says, is that many agencies operate duplicative email, human resources, financial management and other systems; IT spending is fragmented across subcomponents; and “agencies have struggled to modernize IT systems, largely allocating resources toward the maintenance of older systems rather than using those funds to transition to modern technologies.”