As new IT chief at NPR, Hirning will push public access

The new computer chieftain of Vice President Gore’s National
Partnership for Reinventing Government said she wants to continue the work of her
predecessor by using information technology to streamline government.


Katie Hirning succeeds Greg Woods, who left the post in December to take a new chief
operating officer post in the Education Department’s Office of Student Financial
Assistance. He had been NPR’s deputy director for IT, customer service and regulatory
reform since 1993.


“I want to use technology to create uniformity across agencies,” Hirning
said.


Hirning took over her new job last week. She had been the chief information officer at
the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the past year.


Gore started NPR as part of the Clinton administration’s initiative to create a
government that works better and costs less. Hirning’s job is to manage the
technology reinvention efforts for NPR and its Access America program, through which the
administration has promoted its electronic government agenda.


“There are a lot of energetic technology efforts in government, from electronic
filing to Web site development,” Hirning said. “The hope is to give the public
easier and quicker access to government services.”


FERC has not named a replacement for Hirning. The agency plans to announce an acting
CIO by the end of the month and a permanent CIO within 90 days, Hirning said.


At FERC, Hirning spearheaded the agency’s IT re-engineering program. She also
launched a program to route documents electronically.


Hirning also is chairwoman of the oil and gas subgroup for the President’s Council
on Year 2000 Conversion.


Before FERC, Hirning held systems management posts in industry at Extel Corp. of
Frackville, Pa., New Generation Software Inc. of Sacramento, Calif., and Sterling Software
Corp. of Dallas.


Hirning also has had political aspirations, running unsuccessfully twice for Congress
as a Democrat in upstate California’s Fourth District.  

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