Three CIOs Outline 25-Point Progress

In a trio of blog posts on today, the CIOs at the departments of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services and Commerce, shared their agencies’ success in implementing OMB’s famed 25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal IT Management.

The posts from DHS CIO Richard Spires, HHS CIO Michael Carleton and Commerce CIO Simon Szykman correspond with the six-month anniversary of the 25 point plan’s release.


  • DHS is aggressively pursuing the consolidation of 43 legacy data centers into two principal facilities. Since the beginning of the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, the department has closed one data center, plans to close four more by the end of this year and 40 by the end of FY14.
  • In March, DHS became the first to leverage GSA’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering to expedite and facilitate movement of DHS publicly-facing websites to a public cloud. DHS also launched E-Verify Self Check in March that leverages public cloud capabilities.
  • DHS also did its first TechStat session in March on the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. “As a result of this TechStat, we improved the Department’s acquisition strategy to support modular development, engaged agency leadership, assigned dedicated resources throughout the program’s lifecycle, and enforced direct line of accountability to the OCIO,” Spires wrote.
  • Spires added DHS is making effort to ensure the workforce is certified in the Contracting Officer Technical representative and the Acquisition Program Manager career tracks. It is also establishing Centers of Excellence, which develop and sustain core bodies of knowledge, tools, best practices, and subject matter expertise to serve as resources for PMs who need additional support to manage their investments successfully.
  • HHS has closed ten data centers and will close four more by the end of this year, saving an estimated $80 million in telecommunications cost avoidance.
  • Carleton says HHS did its first TechStat review in April, focusing on the Enterprise Human Resource and Planning Investment and as a result will begin instituting monthly status checks that monitor progress.
  • HHS moved the Administration for Children and Families grants management system (that processes 25,000 grants per year) to a cloud-based infrastructure that will help the ACF support periods of high-volume processing.
  • Commerce has closed six data centers with a total of nine to closed by the end of the year.
  • Szykman said that cloud computing helped the agency handle Census information without having to add permanent capacity. “By harnessing the power of the cloud, we were able to offer a compelling set of blogs, videos and interactive tools that encouraged participation in the Census. With several more projects in the pipeline, we continue to pursue the goal of thinking “Cloud First” when it comes to IT,” Szykman wrote.
  • Commerce held its first TechStat meeting two months ago to look at the National Weather Service’s Next Generation Weather Radar project and is currently assessing many of its major IT investments to see what others could be good for the TechStat process.

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