The U.S. Army took top group and individual honors in the first-ever DoD Chief Information Officer (CIO) awards. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence and DoD's CIO John Stenbit recently announced the winners for their contributions to DoD effectiveness.
The Army Recruiting Command (USAREC) Information Support Activity and Robert J. Fecteau, Army Intelligence and Security Command's chief information officer, were singled out for honors for designing and implementing systems saving U.S. taxpayers millions of dollars.
USAREC fielded a virtual private network, an entirely web-based recruiting data management system, a national pooled-minutes cell phone contract and a software development model certification considered state-of-the-art in government circles. All told, the information support activity was able to save the command roughly $42 million annually.
Fecteau integrated 14 organizations into an effective contracted information technology operation involving BAE Systems, MITRE and Microsoft. This increased "our ability to identify and understand the scope and breadth of IM/IT costs needed to run the command from an enterprise view and to ensure they are executed," according to Fecteau. The result was about $10 million savings the first year. Another estimated $8 million was saved through the command's acceleration of contractor security clearances.
One key to CIO success, Fecteau says, is leadership. For "true transformation to take place," top leadership must engage in support of the CIO process. DoD CIO John Stenbit thinks the other end of the management process is just as important: "Everywhere in DoD are individuals and teams who have put a lot of time and energy developing better tools, weapons and methods for us."
The winners were chosen by senior DoD officials in the CIO community. Other finalists, narrowed down from a field of candidates from across the Department, were the U.S. Air Force for its portal, the U.S. Navy for business process reengineering and Comdr. Wyatt Smith for his information management of the military health system.