Q&A | DOD expert lends a hand on HSPD-12

Mike Butler

Rick Steele

The Defense Department has issued more than 11 million Common Access Cards since it started the program more than five years ago. Mike Butler, chief of DOD's smart-card programs, has been instrumental in getting the program up and running. Now he has been drafted by the General Services Administration to help the rest of government get Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 implemented. Butler, who also is chairman of the Government Smart Card Interagency Advisory Board, started a six-month detail at GSA in early June.

GCN: What will your new job entail?

BUTLER: I am going to help with the implementation and operation of the October deadline of HSPD-12. I've been calling around to many of the agencies and asking where they are at with implementing HSPD-12, what issues they are having and what they expect to do, and where GSA can move them forward.

GCN: How does your experience at DOD translate into helping other agencies?

BUTLER: DOD employees are using 3.4 million CAC cards, and DOD has issued close to 11 million cards since the beginning of the program. DOD is very close to meeting HSPD-12 requirements, and I'm hoping to get other agencies to do the same thing.

DOD has been doing this, and I understand the importance of putting together an organizational structure to help manage this. I also understand the technical aspects and know the right people to call for the technical stuff.

I'm going to help with the management approach to getting this done, as other agencies have issues with roadblocks such as the [Federal Information Processing Standards] process or the testing process. I'm learning we can help prioritize at GSA and give them some relief to move forward.

GCN: Why did you decide to come to GSA?

BUTLER: GSA asked whether I would consider doing it, and I volunteered. My bosses at DOD gave me the chance to do it, and I felt it was an important thing to do. I've been standing up in front of people for two years saying we have to find our way to move forward here, and I can do this in this job.

GCN: How will your job differ from what Judy Spencer, chairwoman of the Public-key Infrastructure Steering Committee, and David Temoshok, director of Identity Policy and Management, are already doing?

BUTLER: Judy has been talking to smaller agencies and doing the architecture work. We are working closely together. She has been doing the document trail and requirements.

I'm operationalizing those requirements.

David's responsibility is to get people on the schedule and allow them to buy the products and services.

I'm trying to add my expertise so business can be done. I don't have expertise to get people on the schedule.

It is a good fit.

I am someone who can nail stuff on the wall; someone who has gotten his hands dirty.

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