Legislation shapes role of federal government's technology managers

Legislation shapes role of federal government's technology managers

Congress and administration officials molded federal information technology management over the last decade by building a legislative framework to hold agencies accountable for information management.

• The Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 and the Government Management Reform Act of 1994 mandated the appointment of chief financial officers, required annual financial statement audits, and set expectations for modernizing and integrating information systems.

• The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 required agencies to set strategic goals, measure performance toward meeting those goals and report on their progress annually to Congress.

• The 1995 reauthorization of the Paperwork Reduction Act directed agencies to incorporate information resource initiatives in their management plans.

• In 1996, Congress passed the Information Technology Management Reform Act, which made the government's IRM officials chief information officers who report directly to agency heads. ITMRA requires CIOs to help their agencies achieve strategic goals through effective systems implementation. To do so, CIOs have had to establish processes to control and evaluate IT investments and to weigh projects' risks and benefits. The law also directed agencies to build agencywide IT architectures and to strengthen their technical knowledge, skills and capabilities.

'Shruti Dat'

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