Suzette Kent to Work With Lawmakers to Help Agencies Address IT Modernization Challenges

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Suzette Kent
Suzette Kent

Suzette Kent, federal chief information officer and a 2020 Wash100 Award recipient, said her office plans to work with Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and other lawmakers in Congress to address information technology modernization-related challenges facing federal agencies, Federal News Network reported Monday.

Hassan, ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ federal spending oversight and emergency management subcommittee, sent letters to 10 federal agencies in early June to respond by Aug. 3 to six questions related to their IT modernization efforts.

Kent shared her insights on agencies’ application rationalization plans and noted that her office plans to work with those agencies on their responses to the lawmaker’s letter.

“What the letters and the budget discussions will help us do is draw a more direct parallel between the business objective of the agency and how we fund those, and what the right vehicles are,” she said. “Particularly, the things that require multi-year commitment because some of the questions to the agencies focus on systems that were older or more comprehensive and those things don’t happen in a single year. That will let us have some healthy dialogue there as well as let agencies share their perspective around how they have prioritized what their modernization looks like, and that’s a dialogue that is very important agency by agency.”

Kent said Hassan’s letter provides the Office of Management and Budget another opportunity to talk about how to sustain transformation efforts of agencies.

“There are things that we continue the dialogue around, like supporting agency requests for working capital funds, or when the budgets come in with specific modernization goals around projects or shared services, and understanding that these are not one and done projects. There needs to be an ongoing commitment to make real change,” she added.