CIO Council says it will focus on achieving new short-term goals
- By Christopher J. Dorobek
- Feb 08, 1999
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
councils 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
councils first plan was more of a visionary document and the update is more
Its 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 years plan outlines the goals of the councils 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 Councils 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
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 committees long-term vision is a federal
government that operates as a collaborative and cooperative single enterprise. But
the CIO groups 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 years objective of focusing on
re-engineering opportunities for cross-cutting issues and leveraged resources to
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
The CIO Council has posted the updated strategic plan on its Web site at http://www.cio.gov.