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GAO’s Dave Powner: Federal Govt Should Strengthen CIO Authorities

Dave Powner

Dave Powner, the departing information technology director at the Government Accountability Office, told Nextgov in an interview published Friday that he thinks the government should continue to establish “strong governance” over IT acquisitions and strengthen the authorities of agency chief information officers.

“I think the big thing that you need to focus on is start with the people part of it: the CIO authorities,” he said.

“Let’s elevate everyone appropriately. We’ve got nine agencies that still need to do that.”

Powner said agencies should update legacy applications and help CIOs further build up relationships with chief financial officers and chief acquisition officers in order for them to “function more as a unified team.”

He discussed the potential role of the Technology Business Management initiative in strengthening relationships between CIOs and CFOs and the need to address gaps in the IT workforce.

He shared his views on the Technology Modernization Fund and mentioned his role in some initiatives that aim to comply with the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act and those include the elevation of the CIO role, data center consolidation and implementation of the IT dashboard to increase transparency.

Powner, who is set to join Mitre, noted that Carol Harris and Nick Marinos will respectively take over his responsibilities over FITARA and census efforts at GAO.

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