IT exec McConnell to leave government

IT exec McConnell to leave government

Bruce McConnell says there are still lots of good people working in the government.

Veteran leader helped pioneer buying reforms, develop management policies and define role of CIO

By Christopher J. Dorobek
GCN Staff

The government is losing yet another of its senior information technology leaders. Bruce McConnell has announced that he will leave the government this spring for the private sector.

McConnell most recently headed the International Year 2000 Cooperation Center after a long career as chief of information policy and technology at the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

McConnell said he will not return to OMB when the International Year 2000 Center closes this spring. Although he does not yet have a job lined up, he said he wants to help the private sector manage the business risks and opportunities that accompany technological changes.

McConnell is one of the government's most senior IT executives, having been with OMB since 1985 and at OIRA since 1992. In October, McConnell was named to GCN's IT Hall of Fame [GCN, Nov. 8, 1999, Page 51].

During his tenure, McConnell has touched nearly every important IT issue and has become an expert in a number of areas, including acquisition and use of IT by federal agencies.

He has seen significant changes in the way government does business. Mc-Connell said the Internet has had a significant impact.

'Everybody faces the imperative of either getting on board or getting left behind,' he said.

The Clinton administration's strong interest in using IT to make government work better and cost less had an impact, he said.

'That was a synergistic set of events' that led to the creation of the National Performance Review (now the National Partnership for Reinventing Government), passage of the Information Technology Management Reform Act and the proliferation of Web use within government, he said.

McConnell has been widely credited with helping develop ITMRA policies and defining the role of federal chief information officers.

He has also guided agencies in the creation of capital planing and control processes for IT investments, consolidation of federal data centers, and increasing awareness of information security.

He also had a hand in the promulgation of rules and guidelines for improving IT buying practices and setting best practices for systems implementation.

Most recently he has been involved in year 2000 efforts. He praised the government's date code success and said he is focusing on the positive: 'We got it right.'

Although the minimal problems resulting from year 2000 have led to second-guessing about the resources expended, McConnell said he is comfortable with the decisions that were made and prefers having to answer questions about the lack of glitches to facing a barrage about problems.

'There are lots of good people still in government,' he said.

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