House panel: Army should consider expanding CIO's role

By Evan Ochsner / June 9, 2022 at 5:14 PM

The Army should consider expanding the responsibilities of its chief information officer to more closely match the structure of the offices in the Air Force and Navy, a House panel suggested this week in its mark of the annual defense policy bill.

The House Armed Services cyber, innovative technologies and information systems subcommittee lauded the "tangible productivity and cost benefits” created by the Army CIO but viewed skeptically the office of business transformation. Responsibility for technology is divided between the CIO and the office of business transformation – a division does not exist in the other services, according to a provision in the subcommittee’s mark.

The provision calls on the Army secretary to provide a briefing to the House Armed Services Committee before the end of the year “to address the current division in responsibilities” between the CIO and the director of the office of business transformation.

In the other services, the CIO oversees all technology responsibilities, according to the provision, whereas the Army CIO “maintains responsibility for only a portion of information technology.”

The office of business transformation manages the integrated pay and personnel system, Army contract writing system and accessions information environment, each of which are “years behind schedule and grossly over budget,” according to the provision.

The subcommittee is concerned with the Army’s current approach, which signifies the technology related to those systems is different from the technology underlying the Army’s other systems, and therefore limits the CIO’s responsibilities, according to the provision.

The secretary’s briefing should “include reflections of an evaluation of the Department of the Navy’s construct in which all technology responsibilities are made the responsibility of the Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer.”