Reports criticize DHS for lack of progress on IT
There are also lessons for those seeking consolidation of U.S. intelligence agencies
Computerworld - As the debate about adding a national intelligence director proceeds, two government reports are shedding new light on an existing dilemma: If DHS CIO Steven Cooper can't wrestle the agency's sprawling bureaucracy into submission, can any IT manager be expected to help fix the nation's problems with terrorism information sharing?
In July, the DHS inspector general issued a report concluding that Cooper didn't have the political clout needed to develop an enterprise architecture integrating the IT systems at the 22 agencies within the DHS.
Cooper "is not a member of the senior management team with authority to strategically manage department-wide technology assets and programs," the inspector general's report said. It added that there is no formal reporting relationship between Cooper and the CIOs of major DHS components.
In another report submitted to Congress on Aug. 6 and made public this week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the DHS "does not yet have the necessary architectural blueprint to effectively guide and constrain its ongoing business transformation efforts and the hundreds of millions of dollars that it is investing in supporting information technology assets."
According to the GAO, the current version of the DHS's IT blueprint "is missing most of the content necessary to be considered a well-defined architecture." The GAO described it as "the result of an amalgamation of the existing architectures that several of DHS's predecessor agencies already had."
In a written response to the inspector general's report, DHS Deputy Secretary Adm. James Loy disagreed that Cooper should be part of the senior executive team reporting directly to him. The CIO is "already an integral member at each level of the IT investment review process," Loy wrote.
The DHS acknowledged the problems with its enterprise architecture in a response to the GAO report. But the agency added that the GAO had measured its progress against "unrealistic" expectations about how comprehensive the first version of the architecture would be.
The DHS's IT budget for fiscal year 2004 was about $4 billion -- the third largest IT budget in the federal government. And in the year since the agency was established, its CIO has led several initiatives to boost connectivity among the department's 22 legacy agencies, including linking e-mail systems and providing access to a shared online intranet portal. But the larger tasks of identifying departmentwide IT assets and creating a consolidated and secure IT infrastructure have yet to be accomplished, according to the inspector general's report.
Sateesh Lele, a former CIO at Avon Products Inc. and General Motors Corp.'s European operations, said cultural change from the top
- Google I/O 2013's Coolest Products and Services
- 10 Star Trek Technologies That are Almost Here
- 19 Generations of Computer Programmers
- 25 Must-Have Technologies for SMBs
- A walking tour: 33 questions to ask about your company's security
- 15 social media scams
- The 7 elements of a successful security awareness program
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Federal IT Innovation Caught in a Catch-22
- Fed resources shoring up old infrastructure, holding back new technologies.
- Harness IT -- An Introduction to Business Intelligence Solutions
- Learn the key selection criteria required to provide your organization with the capability to address structured data, unstructured data and mobile demands so...
- Business Intelligence Shows its Smarts
- Today's Business Intelligence (BI) tools provide a new way to think about data with self-service capabilities and user-friendly analytics that can be used...
- Proactive Planning for Big Data
- Big data is less about the terabytes and more about the query tools and business intelligence needed to make sense of massive amounts...
- Inquiry Spotlight: Consumer-Facing Identity
- The challenges of consumer-facing identity management, access management, and authentication differ in ways subtle and dramatic from those of the employee-facing variety. All Government IT White Papers
- Becoming An Analytics Driven Organization
- Join us on Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT and learn how your agency can create an analytics culture that will enable...
- 3 Reasons Why Sepaton is the World's Fastest Backup Solution
- Leading analyst, Storage Switzerland learns how Sepaton backs up and deduplicates massive data volumes while maintaining the industry's fastest performance - all in...
- Enterprise File Sharing: All You Need to Know
- Security. Scalability. Control. These are just some of the many benefits of enterprise cloud file-sharing that you'll discover in this KnowledgeVault, packed with...
- Bridging HTTP and FTP with FileXpress Internet Server
- What if you could take an FTP server on your internal network, and allow external users (partners or customers) to securely access it...
- MFT and FileXpress - An Overview
- Business users and applications exchange files on a regular basis. File transfer is a core part of the flow of business activity. All Government IT Webcasts