FedBrief: State Department IT Best Practices


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2011_04_statelogoBelow is an overview of the State Department’s IT best practices case study posted today on CIO.gov (complete report below).

The problem

In 2007 each of the State Department’s 29 bureaus provided their own desktop IT support. Secretary Hillary Clinton wanted to consolidate that into one office, but it was a logistical nightmare from a financial perspective as each department within the agency used money from its operations funding for IT support. To organize that all under the CIOs office would have needed to give congressional notice and weave through a legal minefield.

The challenge

Take the amount of money that would have been paid to staff members doing the consolidation from each bureau and put it into a working capital fund for IT that would then be redistributed in terms of the work done to circumvent the problems mentioned above.

The solution

Bureaus that completely handled its own resources paid invoices for work done through the working capital fund. Bureaus funded through a central operating account had the employees doing desktop support consolidation moved to the CIOs office, requiring minimal congressional approval, and had those employees salaries distributed.

The results

The consolidation of domestic desktop support under the CIO’s Bureau of Information Resource Management was funded entirely from the Department’s Working Capital Fund. It is nearly complete and gave the agency a better view of the spending and services it needs as a whole for desktop IT support.

Lessons Learned

State’s Working Capital Fund authorities provided a means of centralizing a major service under one organization.

  • Providing services through a fee-for-service Working Capital Fund rather than centrally funding such services, encourages rational consumption of such services.
  • A Department-wide change can only be successful with the support of top management.
  • Major Department-wide IT undertakings require the coordinated involvement of the CIO, the CFO (Bureau of Resource Management) and Acquisitions staff.
  • When movement or reduction of staff is required, early involvement of HR is essential.

State WCF Final

-In this Story-

Bureau of Information Resource Management, Departments, Hillary Clinton, State Department