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Interior Dept. Eyes Strengthened CIO Role

Interior CIO Bernie Mazer, Photo: doi.gov

One of the clarion calls to come from the recent federal IT management reform was for a strengthened agency chief information officer.

And, the Interior Department is already taking steps to beef up its CIO role and streamline the department’s IT leadership pipeline.

According to a department memo, DOI will have only one CIO and one deputy CIO for the entire department. Previous CIOs within the various bureaus will become assistant directors for information resources.

“Interior’s CIO has been seen for a long time as powerless because it lacked any actual authority over the bureaus,” Federal News Radio reports. However, the new memo has “changed the dynamic,” because it will “give the CIO the ultimate influence over the department by controlling all infrastructure systems and IT procurement.”

In an interview with Federal News Radio, Interior CIO Bernie Mazer said the most significant part of the memo was in creating “an enabling regulatory environment so that we can take care the employees of the Department of the Interior to allow them to focus on mission as well as to focus on their interaction with their constituencies throughout the public.

In a blog post on CIO.gov, federal CIO Vivek Kundra said Interior was “leading the way in redefining the role of department CIO.”

The department memo “removes the structural barriers that get in the way of consistent execution when it comes to managing achieving operational efficiency and managing large scale IT projects,” he wrote.

In addition to streamlined IT management, Interior also recently laid out an IT modernization and consolidation plan, which aims to save $500 million over five years.

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