Interview: IT goals mesh with mission

Interview: IT goals mesh with mission

James Flyzik

James Flyzik is deputy assistant secretary for information systems and chief information officer for the Treasury Department.

He oversees strategic information technology planning, management and information infrastructure programs within Treasury and its 14 bureaus. Previously, he worked at the Secret Service for 15 years in various IT management positions.

Flyzik spoke with GCN about integrating IT and Treasury's mission.

FLYZIK: Treasury is finding ways to use information technology to improve our mission performance. We're trying to make sure we stay in the mainstream with technologies and we are always in a position to take advantage of technological breakthroughs.

James Flyzik

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Information

Systems and Chief Information Officer

Patrick Schambach

CIO, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

Constance E. Craig

CIO, Financial Management Service

S.W. 'Woody' Hall Jr.

CIO, Customs

Steven Yohai

CIO, Comptroller of the Currency

Ron Falter

CIO, Bureau of Engraving and Printing

Paul J. Cosgrave


Jacquelyn Fletcher

CIO, Mint

Cindy Springer

CIO, Bureau of Public Debt

Stephen T. Colo

CIO, Secret Service

Frank DiGialleonardo

CIO, Office of Thrift Supervision

Emil Beshai

CIO, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

Sandy Peavy

CIO, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center

Charles Little

Acting CIO, Office of Inspector General

William Murphy

CIO, Office of the Chief Council


(in millions, fiscal 1999)

TRW Inc.$191.0
Unisys Corp.$111.2
Booz, Allen & Hamilton Inc.$74.2
Science Applications International Corp.$60.1
Intellisys Technology Corp.$59.3
Comteq Federal Inc.$48.8
Northrop Grumman Corp.$44.2
Computer Sciences Corp.$43.3
Lockheed Martin Corp.$32.9
Systems Research & Application$28.3

Sources for the GCN Snapshot
include the Treasury Department
and Input of Vienna, Va.

Our programs include Treasury Communication Enterprise, our enterprisewide networking approach. We have a wireless initiative and a number of telecommunication initiatives.

We're constantly working to find ways to use the Internet and use electronic commerce to move Treasury to the e-government role. We are very concerned about the critical infrastructure, security and privacy initiatives.

The department has been playing a leadership role governmentwide in public-key infrastructure.

The IRS modernization and the Customs modernization are clearly two of the biggest-ticket items that have gotten a lot of attention'media and congressional oversight attention.

We have learned tremendous amounts from mistakes and different ways to move programs forward. By going to the use of a Prime contractor and approaching it as a partnership effort, we are much more likely to reduce the overall risk of failure.

We are also breaking the programs down to manageable modules or smaller chunks of the modernization. We can put performance parameters around each of these steps and manage our investments to show incremental returns.

With the Customs Service we've taken the General Accounting Office recommendations very seriously. We've put in place a much stronger oversight group at the department, which works with Customs. Our Investment Review Board reviews each step. We've also opened up periodic briefings with relevant folks on the House Appropriations Committee.

The U.S. Mint is clearly a leader in the use of e-commerce with use of the Internet in coin sales. The Mint has also gone to an enterprise resource planning tool. Our Bureau of Public Debt is moving savings bonds online.

Allen Hoffman, a computer specialist, uses a Braille keyboard for his work at the IRS. Like most departments, Treasury wants to increase accessibility under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

In the Financial Management Service, we are looking at modern financial systems and digital transactions. Treasury plays two roles'we have our Treasury financial management systems and we also play a role in the governmentwide financial accounting via the FMS.

We've got efforts toward smart-card technology.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has moved to the seat management concept, outsourcing many of its operations. We tend to be a leader in seat management.

In response to Presidential [Decision] Directive 63, we put together an active working group to address the requirements. We've opened up communications with the White House critical infrastructure office.

In the past, strategic planning, budgeting, investment planning and IT strategy development were not linked together and seen as one function. The past two years we've gone a long way in linking them.

Treasury has been pretty aggressive in taking a leadership role in IT work force issues.

We are looking at working on new pay scales in a number of our bureaus. We are also living within the reality that we may have to change some government functions. I am preparing now an update of the IT strategic plan we submitted to the secretary last year.

Tough demands

The government has a problem: The nation and the world are faced with the demand that far exceeds the supply for IT professionals. The government and the private sector are looking for ways to cover that growing gap.

Partnering with industry is clearly something government chief information officers need to do to be effective.

Major programs
Treasury modernization'The IRS' $5 billion Prime contract, awarded to Computer Sciences Corp. in December 1998, inching toward its goal of completely overhauling the bureau's business systems, recently received $148 million from its Information Technology Investment Account. The Customs Services modernization awaits its fate as Congress debates funding options for the $1.25 billion project.

Treasury Communications Enterprise'The comprehensive telecommunications and IT utility builds on legacy programs to integrate commercial services for enterprise needs, including wireless, voice, data, video and imaging telecommunications, messaging, Internet, Treasury enterprise applications and Web app hosting. TCE stresses standardization.

Intranet Information Web Portal'The Legal Division has 2,200 lawyers and legal support staff scattered across 13 bureaus and departmental offices. The portal will be a single secure Web access point for integrating Legal Division information and applications. The site will help the division handle increasing caseloads.

Treasury Control Management System'TCMS is a Treasury enterprise business system for document control. Correspondence, internal memoranda, regulations, policies and other documents are electronically controlled, routed and monitored in their native formats, such as the Adobe Portable Document Format, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.


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