Sen. Carper Welcomes Announcement of New Federal Chief Information Officer

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security, which has jurisdiction over the federal government’s over $80 billion IT portfolio, welcomed the announcement that Steven VanRoekel will be named the new U.S. Chief Information Officer and Administrator of the Office of Electronic Government and Information Technology.

“With Vivek Kundra’s eminent departure, and the continued importance of managing our nation’s over $80 billion federal Information Technology budget, I’m happy to hear there will be a smooth transition for our nation’s second Chief Information Officer,” said Sen. Carper. “Mr. VanRoekel comes with an impressive resume, but he has big shoes to fill. I look forward to meeting with him soon to discuss how he intends to continue the important reforms that the President and Mr. Kundra started.

“Our nation simply can’t afford to take a step back in how we manage our IT assets,” continued Sen. Carper. “With that said, it’s all the more crucial that this Congress pass the bipartisan legislation that I’ve co-authored, the Information Technology Investment Management Act of 2011 (S.801), to bring more transparency and accountability to major IT projects that can cost taxpayers billions. I look forward to working with the Office of Management and Budget and my colleagues here in the Congress to make sure that happens.”

Steven VanRoekel is currently the Executive Director of Citizen and Organizational Engagement at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Before moving to USAID in 2011, he served as Managing Director of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), where he oversaw all operational, technical, financial, and human resources aspects of the agency. He also led FCC’s effort to introduce new technology and social media into the agency. Mr. VanRoekel worked at Microsoft Corporation from 1994 to 2009, most recently as the Senior Director for the Windows Server and Tools Division. He received a B.A. in Management of Information Systems from Iowa State University.

Sen. Carper introduced the Information Technology Investment Management Act of 2011 (S.801) with Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.) in April. The bill will improve many of the weaknesses in the federal government’s current approach to information technology acquisition and management through seven key initiatives, including: requiring that agencies develop information technology management and development programs to try and stop projects from ever getting off the tracks; requiring transparency of Information Technology projects; requiring agency review of troubled projects; requiring OMB review of very troubled projects; requiring that agencies identify “core” projects, which are projects that are particularly crucial because of the project’s cost, mission criticality, or risk; requiring that, if an agency fails to submit information to the Information Technology Dashboard or conduct reviews in a timely manner, additional funds may not be obligated to support expenditures associated with the project until the requirements have been fulfilled, except for expenditures to meet requirements under some other provision of this bill; requiring the Director of OMB to provide guidance on providing cash bonuses and other incentives to recognize excellent performance by Federal Government employees in the acquisition of information systems and information technology for the agency.