OMB's DeSeve will move to private sector

OMB’s acting IT boss G. Edward
DeSeve has taken a position with KMPG Peat Marwick.





G. Edward DeSeve, the top management official in the Clinton administration and
stand-in information technology boss, is leaving his post at the end of the month to join
the private sector.


DeSeve will join KPMG Peat Marwick LLC of New York next month as a partner and national
industry director. He will work in Washington and will oversee the company’s federal
service.


The move came in part because DeSeve had become tired of waiting for Senate
confirmation to the post of deputy director for management at the Office of Management and
Budget, one administration official said.


DeSeve was nominated to the deputy director position in March 1998 after John A.
Koskinen retired from government service. At that time, DeSeve was OMB’s controller.


DeSeve was more diplomatic. “The fact that the Senate hadn’t confirmed me
created an opportunity to consider other opportunities,” he said last week.


As the acting deputy director for management, DeSeve has led the government’s year
2000 efforts. He is also the titular head of a number of groups, including the Chief
Information Officers Council, the President’s Management Council and the Chief
Financial Officers Council.


DeSeve has been a central figure shaping the Clinton administration’s IT policy in
its second term. He has been involved in implementing the IT Management Reform Act,
creating agency CIO posts, creating the CIO Council and forming the council’s first
two strategic plans.


Some observers suggested that DeSeve’s departure would create a leadership vacuum
at OMB. In addition to the senior management post, the job as administrator of OMB’s
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has been vacant for more than a year since
Sally Katzen left for a White House economic post. John T. Spotila, general counsel at the
Small Business Administration, has been nominated to that post, but there has been no
Senate action.


Plus, Bruce W. McConnell recently left his post as chief of OIRA’s Information
Policy and Technology Branch to work for Koskinen, chairman of the President’s
Council on Year 2000 Conversion.


Part of the problem is that government has yet to fully embrace the CIO concept and
DeSeve was the administration CIO promoter, said Robert J. Woods, president of Federal
Sources Inc. of McLean, Va., the former commissioner of the General Services
Administration’s Federal Technology Service.


“The CIO is a developing, maturing function that still has a ways to go,”
Woods said. “You’re not going to get it with acting people.”


Many IT executives credit Koskinen and DeSeve with creating a management structure that
will be around for some time.


“What we’ve tried to do is design organizations that work as networks of
their members,” DeSeve said.


Agriculture CIO Anne Thomson Reed said Koskinen and DeSeve have fundamentally altered
government IT management by giving CIOs responsibility and control.


Before joining OMB, DeSeve was the chief financial officer for the Housing and Urban
Development Department.


Prior to entering federal service, he was managing director in the public finance
department at Merrill Lynch Capital Markets. He also served as a director of Drexel
Partnership Interests B Corp., which was created to handle the Drexel Burnham Lambert
bankruptcy.


DeSeve also was director of finance for Philadelphia and a special assistant to the
governor of Pennsylvania.


DeSeve said his departure is not related to the year 2000 problem. In fact, he said, he
would not leave the post if he was unsure of the government’s readiness.  

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