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Kundra, Industry CIOs Discuss New Role for Federal IT Program Managers

Federal CIO Vivek Kundra, Photo: CIO.gov

At an off-the-record meeting, officials from the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management sat down with IT experts from government and the private sector to discuss creating a new career series for federal IT program managers.

Strengthening the role of IT managers by creating a new job classification is one of the cornerstones of the federal IT management reform spearheaded by U.S. Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra.

At the Jan. 21 event, Kundra was joined by Chuck Grimes, OPM deputy associate director for employee services, in leading the discussions with 30 private-sector CIOs. The topic on the table was designing the new job series, according to a report on Federal News Radio.

From the private sector, attendees included CSC’s Ed Meagher (a former agency CIO), and Alan Balutis of Cisco’s global consulting division, among others.

Kundra and Grimes were “interested in hearing about the notion of [a] new GS-series and wondering what it should look like, such as the difference between project and program management,” an unnamed official, who attended the meeting but requested anonymity because the conversation was not open to the public, told FNR. “It really focused on practical matters. Should it be someone with IT knowledge? Should the person be a mission expert?”

But, even so, there were apparently more questions than answers.

For example, should the government pay more for experienced program managers? Should the new career track be part of the 2210 series or an extension of the 2200 series? Should the new system be created “from scratch,” or built on the foundation of existing programs?

Those in attendance rated the discussion a success, according to Federal News Radio, but it will likely be take some time for OMB and OPM to hammer out specifics.

“I got the feeling they will take information and think about it themselves,” an attendee told FNR.

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