Chief Information Officers: Implementing Effective CIO Organizations Page: 4 of 18
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Effective selection and positioning of CIOs can make a real difference in
building the institutional capacity and structure needed to implement the
management practices embodied in Clinger-Cohen and PRA.3 But the
position is both relatively new and evolving in the federal government, and
agency leaders face many challenges from the growing expectations for
dramatic improvements in implementing improved IT management
practices and demonstrating cost-effective results. Just finding an effective
CIO can be a difficult task, since the individual must combine a number of
strengths, including leadership ability, technical skills, an understanding of
business operations, and good communications and negotiation skills.
Also, the individual selected must match the specific needs of the agency,
which must be determined by the agency head based on the agency's
mission and strategic plan. The CIO must recognize the need to work as a
partner with other business or program executives and to build credibility
in order to be accepted as a full participant in the development of new
3The PRA of 1980 took the first step toward today's CIO position by designating senior information
resources management positions in major departments and agencies. The revision of PRA in 1996,
required agencies to indicate in strategic IRM plans how they were applying information resources to
improve productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness of government programs, including the delivery of
services to the public.
Key Clinger-Cohen Requirements for the CIO
Work with the agency head and senior program managers to implement
effective information management to achieve the agency's strategic goals.
Assist the agency head in establishing a sound investment process to
select, control, and evaluate IT spending for costs, risks and benefits.
Promote improvements to the work processes used by the agency to carry
out its programs.
Increase the value of the agency's information resources by implementing
an integrated agencywide technology architecture.
Strengthen the agency's knowledge, skills, and capabilities to manage
information resources effectively.
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United States. General Accounting Office. Chief Information Officers: Implementing Effective CIO Organizations, text, March 24, 2000; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc290317/m1/4/: accessed September 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.