CIO Council says it will focus on achieving new short-term goals

In the coming year, the Chief Information Officers Council plans to focus more on
meeting short-term goals than on setting long-term objectives, according to the
council’s latest strategy update.

Late in December, the council issued an update to its 1998 strategic plan, laying out
what the plan called “long-range goals and specific initiatives of the council as it
prepares to submit its first formal budget request to the Congress.”

James Flyzik, the council co-chairman and Treasury Department CIO, said the
council’s first plan was more of a visionary document and the update is more

“It’s an evolutionary process,” he said, “but we seem to all be
moving in a common direction.”

As part of the effort, the council is trying to push the agencies to make its visions
and recommendations into reality, Flyzik said.

This year’s plan outlines the goals of the council’s six committees. The
committees focus on interoperability, information technology capital planning, IT work
force issues, the year 2000 problem and outreach.

Two of the six, the committees on interoperability and IT capital planning, did some
tinkering with their plans.

The Interoperability Committee this past year issued a federal IT architecture plan,
what many in government called one of the CIO Council’s most significant achievements
[GCN, Sept. 21, 1998, Page 1].

Although the committee plans on continuing to develop the architecture, the strategy
said it would focus more on near-term goals related to implementation of the architecture
by agencies.

The Interoperability Committee also underwent a change of leadership.

Defense Department deputy CIO Marvin Langston recently took over from Agriculture
Department CIO Anne Thomson Reed and Health and Human Services Department CIO Neil
Stillman, who had co-chaired the committee.

The strategy statement said the committee’s long-term vision is “a federal
government that operates as a collaborative and cooperative single enterprise.” But
the CIO group’s short-term goal is to improve interoperability of specific business

“Interoperability requires large investments in time and money,” the strategy
said. “For this reason, efforts in improving interoperability should be focused on
areas of highest priority and greatest payback.” Therefore, the group will focus on
processes that will affect multiple agencies.

The Capital Planning Committee also has set some new priorities.

The committee was the subject of CIO Council infighting last year as members disagreed
about whether the council should require agencies to use the IT Investment Portfolio
System to measure systems investments [GCN, June 29, 1998, Page 1].

The committee, the strategy said, will drop last year’s objective of focusing on
“re-engineering opportunities for cross-cutting issues and leveraged resources to
promote consolidations.”

Instead, the council has asked the committee to be “more strategic and define
objectives that would define activities for two to three years,” the strategy said.

The goal is to capitalize on agency-specific successes that mesh IT capital planning
and budgeting.

The CIO Council has posted the updated strategic plan on its Web site at


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