Updated IT Reform Act Would Make CIOs Presidential Appointees

Joseph Marks | Nextgov | March 14, 2013

An updated draft of legislation to fundamentally reform how the government purchases information technology gives agency-level chief information officers more authority but scales back some earlier proposals to centralize purchasing for major IT products and services.

Most notably, the revised bill, proposed by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., would make CIOs of all major civilian agencies presidential appointees or designees. Agency CIOs now are typically appointed by their department secretaries while chief financial officers are presidential appointees.

The revised bill also states the CIO should have a direct line to the secretary on important matters and retains language granting CIOs authority to shift funding within their agencies’ technology budgets, a power now only granted to the Veterans Affairs Department CIO.