Woods takes over as GITS Board chief
- By Peyman Pejman
- Jun 16, 1997
Woods has succeeded James Flyzik, the Treasury Department's deputy chief information
The GITS Board began as the information technology arm of the vice president's National
Performance Review team. Last year it branched off as a separate office to promote
cross-agency service applications.
Woods said that although the GITS Board is bound to a formal project delivery
timetable, the group is open to ideas that will enhance the government's technological
"When we developed the original NPR recommendations in 1993, there was no World
Wide Web and our recommendations barely touched on the idea of the Internet," Woods
said. "Now the government is making great progress delivering huge services
Woods said critics who claim the NPR and GITS Board staffs have failed to make enough
progress are mistaken.
"When the vice president sat down with a bunch of top level chief executive
officers, he said reinventing the government would take 10 years," Woods said.
"Surely we are not at a point where we can say all agencies have been reinvented, but
there have been huge strides."
He said wireless communication in law enforcement and the use of electronic benefits
transfer projects in 48 states are two examples of how the GITS Board, in cooperation with
agency chief information officers, have boosted the government's technology prowess.
Woods said Access America, the initiative to provide broad access to government via
online services, will remain a top priority during his leadership.
"The first item on GITS monthly board meetings is where we stand relative to the
completion timetable on each of the projects," he said. "From the beginning, we
put mileposts so we can monitor the progress."
Woods also said that although some projects are slightly behind schedule, the group
expects to deliver all its projects on time.
"This is not just about offering connectivity to people who have computers. We are
talking about giving access to commonly requested services through places like libraries
or the equivalent of your post office mobile kiosks."
Those services include tasks such as applying for student aid or federal housing loans,
checking on Social Security benefits, finding environmental data and getting park permits
from the Forest Service.
"This is going to be an evolutionary process where, like the private sector,
you'll see Versions 1, 2, 3 of a project until it is fully completed," Woods said.