Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense (Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence) Anthony M. Valletta, who also serves as the Department's chief information officer (CIO), today launched a major pilot program on managing, planning and controlling investments in information technology throughout the Department of Defense.
The CIO Performance Executive Pilot Program will further the goals of two landmark reforms of the 1990s: the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) and the Clinger-Cohen (Information Technology Management Reform) Act.
These two laws require a new and more businesslike framework for management and accountability.
They also create requirements for the Department to provide performance measures to decisionmakers in the Department, the Congress, and the Executive Branch.
As Secretary of Defense William Cohen, one of the authors of the Clinger-Cohen Act wrote in a June 2, 1997 memo (Implementation of Subdivision E of the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996), "...the Department must embrace new ways of doing business and appreciate the need to treat technology expenditures as investments; ... we must revise our policies, practices, and procedures, and overcome cultural and organizational barriers." The Secretary envisions an environment in which IT investment management is fully integrated with the IT capital planning and investment control, with performance measures established as an integral part of the overall investment process.
To implement Cohen's objective, the pilot program will test the procedures established in a "DoD Guide for Managing Information Technology as an Investment and Measuring Performance and the IT Investment Management Insight Program," published earlier in 1997.
That document will be used to help create an Investment Baseline Performance Agreement and assist in the establishment of an integrated investment management, capital planning and control process for information technology.
The IBPA will require departmental officials to document expected mission outcomes; establish measures for monitoring the progress of an investment; and then evaluate the outcome/results of an investment to ensure the contribution of information technology to the mission is achieved.
"We are looking to manage IT as an investment and in doing so, we will establish performance measurements as an integral part of the IT investment process," said Valletta.
He further explained, "The goal of the CIO Performance Measures Executive Pilot is to provide chief information officers with the minimum number of performance parameters needed to monitor and assess IT investments and to characterize the major indicators of operational effectiveness, suitability, schedule and the progress toward achieving mission outcome."
The C3I office, under direction of Tamie Lyles Santiago and Gwendolyn Humphries, will serve as the executive agent for the pilot study.
Members of the military services (Army, Navy and Air Force) will participate as advisors; representatives from the Office of Management and Budget and the General Accounting Office have been invited to participate.
The Defense Logistics Agency and the office of the assistant secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) will suggest specific information technology projects for review.
|Thomas Knapp, chief information officer for the Defense Logistics Agency, supports the pilot project, saying "Many IT projects falter owing to an inability to clearly analyze requirements at the beginning.
|| By using a pilot program to study the control phase of the investment process, we expect to establish definitive criteria." William Gill will lead DLA's participation in the pilot study.
James C. Reardon, chief information officer for the Military Health Services Systems, also views the pilot study as " a significant contribution to the development, refinement, and testing of methodologies to effectively fulfill Clinger-Cohen requirements--ones that can be tailored to a variety of IT investment initiatives." Dr. Victoria Barrera-White has been appointed to lead Health Affairs participation in the pilot study.
The CIO Performance Measures Executive Pilot is a major step toward institutionalizing performance and results-based management throughout the Department of Defense.
The pilot program will report progress and results periodically with a final report by late summer 1998.