CIO Council adds privacy to strategic goals

CIO Council adds privacy to strategic goals

SSA's Kathleen Adams says the CIO Council's strategic direction is growing and evolving.

By Christopher J. Dorobek

GCN Staff

The Chief Information Officers Council has added privacy to its strategic goals and is fine-tuning new itineraries for its committees.

Any privacy initiatives will fall under the auspices of the CIO Council's expanded security committee. The change is only one part of an overall expansion of the council's scope, which is most clearly represented in the council's committees.

Treasury Department CIO James Flyzik, the council's vice chairman, is looking to take the council to the next level, said Kathleen Adams, who will leave her post next month as the Social Security Administration's assistant deputy commissioner for systems.

'It's not changing the strategic direction. If anything, it's growing and evolving,' said Adams, who is also co-chairwoman of the council's Year 2000 Committee. 'He's directing and focusing efforts on what are the key areas that the government IT manager needs to focus on today.'

The revision of the committees' agendas grew out of a May meeting about the future of the council, NASA CIO Lee Holcomb said [GCN, June 14, Page 66].

The council next month will flesh out the four-page strategic plan, which is available online at cio.gov/CIOCouncilPlan-StrategicPortion-final1.doc, when it posts the individual plans for each committee. The council will unveil the committee plans at next month's Interagency Resources Management Conference.

The committee plans will provide details on specific initiatives, time frames and performance metrics, council officials said.

'We, like any of the agencies that have been going through the effort to develop strategic plans under the Government Performance Results Act, have been working to grow and evolve,' Commerce Department deputy CIO Alan Balutis said.

Council officials said the evolution of the council traces the evolution of the creation and growth of CIO posts within government.

In 1996, when agencies were first naming CIOs in the wake of the Information Technology Management Reform Act, CIOs were mostly looking out for their individual agencies and primarily were interested in ensuring that the council did not impose any requirements on them, Balutis said.

'Now we have people putting on the table issues about why we should have multiple systems' when there are common elements among agencies, he said. 'I think that's a tremendous step in terms of the maturation of the council.'

The council has changed the names of several committees to better reflect their goals. The council's Education and Training Committee, for example, has been renamed the Federal IT Work Force Committee.

The Interoperability Committee's new name is the Enterprise Interoperability and Emerging IT Committee.

Holcomb, the committee's co-chairman, said the name represents somewhat of a change in focus as the committee looks at governmentwide interoperability.

Different duties

'We see this as an evolution of the role of the interoperability committee,' he said.

The Security Committee has been redubbed the Security, Privacy and Critical Infrastructure Committee.

Adams said there was serious discussion about whether to add privacy to the strategic plan.

The security committee already has a lot on its plate because of the government's critical infrastructure protection efforts under Presidential Decision Directive 63, she said.

But the council decided that it needed to look beyond the protection of the existing infrastructure to issues that affect an electronic government, and privacy is definitely high on the list, Adams said.

'That's one of the big issues facing the government today' as agencies try to do more business electronically, Adams said. 'We can't do that until we can ensure that we have the security and privacy measures in place so that citizens' data is protected.'

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