Veterans Affairs Department: CIO LaVerne Council

Veterans Affairs IT budget
for FY 2016 $4.4 billion

- Enterprise strategy implementation
- Cybersecurity plan and execution
- Customer focus

LaVerne Council is using her successes from 2015 as “stepping stones” to her plans for 2016, she told staff recently.

“Every day we’re taking new steps to implement the IT Enterprise Strategy, a guidepost directly aligned to our business partners’ strategies,” she wrote in an end-of-year email. “Each accomplishment is another step forward in placing the Veteran in the center of everything we do on our quest to enable the world-class care and services they deserve.”

To achieve that, Council’s team, within a few months last year, introduced an enterprise cybersecurity plan and an enterprise program management office, and began laying the groundwork for an IT account management team, which “will provide invested, real-time strategic leadership on issues like portfolio balancing and service delivery, providing a unifying force between our business partners and our [program management office] team,” she wrote.

“We’ve unified as a team behind the IT Enterprise Strategy,” Council’s email says. “Now we must execute to completion to eliminate our material weakness.”

Finally — and most importantly, she wrote — her office is shifting its focus from operations back to the customer's — the veteran's — needs.

“We’ve begun to create the cultural shift that removes the focus from us – the OI&T team – and places it where it belongs, on the Veteran,” the email reads. “Every week I see or hear about IT employees embodying these key characteristics or living with the Veteran at the center of their work.”

Social Security Administration Deputy CIO Herb Strauss: Next