The State Of The CIO

Camille Tuutti | FCW | October 12, 2012

Last year, on the 15th anniversary of the Clinger-Cohen Act becoming law, the Government Accountability Office released a rather gloomy status report on the agency CIO role. GAO found that most CIOs were responsible for just five areas of IT and information management out of 13, and they often lacked the authority to make key decisions about recruiting and IT investments.

Perhaps most discouraging, the report found that the average CIO spent just two years on the job before packing up and moving on. The message was clear: The CIO role was fraught with challenges, and it was a thankless job.

But in recent interviews with several former agency CIOs and current U.S. CIO Steven VanRoekel, a more optimistic assessment emerged. The officials say today’s cadre of CIOs are more resilient and empowered, and many are sticking around to make meaningful changes and exercise real authority.