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Reforming IT Procurement on the Table at Zients Tech Talk

Jeffrey Zients, OMB; Photo: omb.gov

Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget Jeffrey Zients will offer tips on reforming federal IT projects to close the IT gap between the government and private industry when he keynotes an event this week for the Northern Virginia Technology Council.

Zients, who is also the U.S. chief performance officer, provided a glimpse late last month into his speech in a blog posting on the OMB website called “Closing the IT Gap: An Update.”

In that blog posting, Zients described IT reform efforts, centered around procurement and management reforms, as part of the administration’s overall plan to make government more responsive as described in the Accountable Government initiative.

Zients said his speech will “offer recommendations on reforming federal IT, ranging from project management to procurement to budgeting and personnel reforms – and I hope to discuss with the private sector there and in other venues how best we can transform federal IT.”

In his blog posting, Zients said IT reform can save $79 billion a year, which can then be invested in emerging technologies leading to further cost cutting.

The IT reform efforts consist of a four-tiered approach, Zients explained:

  • Restructuring and canceling costly IT projects
  • Making IT spending more transparent
  • Increasing oversight of financial system modernization efforts
  • Consolidating data centers and deploying cloud-computing platforms

The NVTC event is Nov. 19 at the Hilton McLean in McLean, Va.

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