SBA retooling IT, e-gov shops

SBA retooling IT, e-gov shops

Ron Miller

Over the next two months, the Small Business Administration will transform its approach to IT and e-government. Lloyd Blanchard, the chief operating officer, said the agency is adding three new political positions in a new Office of Policy and Strategic Programs. The agency also is looking for a replacement for CIO Larry Barrett, who will retire May 31.

SBA has tapped Ron Miller, former CIO at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, for one of the new political positions. Miller is coming over from the Homeland Security Department to become a senior adviser to the SBA administrator for e-government.

'Ron will help us produce a full range of e-government tools to reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses complying with laws and regulations,' Blanchard said.

Miller will work closely with Jim Van Wert, a career senior e-government adviser who has been leading the Business Compliance One-Stop e-gov project. Miller starts work March 31, Blanchard said.

SBA also has brought in former Iowa CIO Richard Varn as a technology consultant. Varn has been working with SBA for about two months and will concentrate on enterprise architecture work. He will in effect be the e-government chief technology officer, Blanchard said.

The agency also hopes to hire Georgia Marsh, a former associate director for the Illinois Department of Revenue, as a consultant on intergovernmental relations. Both Varn and Marsh will work with the National Association of State CIOs, Blanchard said.

Besides finding a successor for Barrett, SBA is looking to fill the deputy CIO position. The acting deputy CIO is Dan Vellucci.

'The new CIO and deputy CIO will work closely with Ron and the e-government team,' Blanchard said. 'The CIO largely will support functions that cut across the entire agency, whereas the e-government folks will concentrate on reducing the regulatory burden on small firms.'

Blanchard said he does not know when a new CIO and deputy CIO will be hired but said it will be soon because SBA has interviewed a few candidates already.

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