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VA CIO Says CIOs Should Have More IT Budget Authority

Photo by Yuriy Rozanov

In a time where budgets are flat or declining, Roger Baker, the chief information officer at the Veterans Affairs Department, says giving the agency chief information officers more say in financial decisions could be a way to create savings for the federal technology enterprise.

The suggestion comes from the only agency CIO that has been provided authority by Congress to unilaterally cancel information technology spending projects or shift funding. This power allows him to cancel about $700 million in IT spending during his first year in office.

His reach is now extending to launch a policy that would disallow personal desk-side printers throughout the department, which could save up to $100 million over several years according to the VA.

Speaking in a panel discussion at the American Council for Technology-Industry Advisory Council Executive Leadership Conference in Williamsburg, Va., Baker indicated the printer policy should be considered in an agency-wide scope because toner for personal printers is significantly higher cost per page than larger toners for networked computers.

Baker said he plans to officially reveal the printer policy soon, which was previously recommended by VA’s Ruthless Reduction Task Force earlier this month, according to a Federal News Radio report.

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