Transportation CIO plans single e-mail system, IT investment group

Transportation CIO plans single e-mail system, IT investment group

Transportation CIO George Molaski says he wants to build a common e-mail system and create an IT investment council in his first six months on the job.

By Frank Tiboni

GCN Staff

The Transportation Department's new chief information officer has hit the ground running by setting two goals to achieve during his first six months on the job.

George R. Molaski wants to improve communication across Transportation by establishing a common e-mail system, and he wants to create an information technology investment council to steer major system buys and projects in the department.

DOT uses four e-mail programs in its 14 agencies. For example, the Office of the Secretary uses cc:Mail from Lotus Development Corp. and lacks a secure messaging system, Molaski said.

'DOT has been a very stovepipe-type of a department,' Molaski said. 'The secretary [Rodney E. Slater] wants to take a more holistic view of transportation because it is one of the main driving economic factors for our economy.'

Better communication among the modes of transportation'air, roads, railways and seas'is one of Slater's 17 flagship initiatives in his One DOT Plan. Sharing a common e-mail system will help reach that goal, Molaski said.

DOT will most likely develop a pilot to determine its e-mail needs and costs before rolling out a departmentwide system, he said.

By the end of the year, Molaski also wants to have the IT investment council in place. Federal Aviation Administration CIO Daniel J. Mehan, Coast Guard CIO Rear Adm. George Naccara, the Budget Office chief and Molaski will serve as the council's core.

Big-bang theory

'We want to make sure that the citizens are getting the most bang for their buck,' Molaski said.

The IT investment council will also include information resource managers from the department's 12 other agencies and industry, he said.

Molaski came to DOT from the private sector. He most recently was president of WritersClub.com, and before that executive vice president and chief operating officer at Wang Laboratories Inc. subsidiary Advanced Paradigms Inc.

After several weeks on the job, Molaski said he has had no big surprises.

He said Slater and deputy CIO Kim Taylor have laid the foundation for the CIO position'he is just carrying out their plans.

Molaski said he wants to keep a low profile in the department. He said he will not micromanage but will leave major decisions to agency heads because they have the expertise.

But Molaski does admit his supreme authority lies in overseeing DOT's $2.5 billion annual IT budget. He said he wants systems in DOT agencies that use IT to better fulfill their missions.

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