VanRoekel, Park: Cut and invest balance guides IT


The recently released federal Digital Government Strategy is the latest in Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel’s mission to cut and invest when it comes to federal technology.

Speaking at an event co-hosted by the American Council for Technology-Industry Advisory Council and the Association for Federal Information Resources Management at the Department of Interior in Washington, D.C., VanRoekel and Federal Chief Technology Officer Todd Park discussed the new Digital Management Strategy released Wednesday in further detail.


One of those tenants was that this strategy is in line with others recently released by VanRoekel’s office, namely the “Shared Services Strategy,” the PortfolioStat program and others, to reinvest money saved from duplicative IT programs into new innovations to better serve citizens.

“If you look at this strategy and others like it they are like similar boats going down the same river,” VanRoekel said. “Everything we do is about the balance of cut and invest. We can’t invest if we don’t cut, so we have to find a balance.”

One of the other highlights include a transformation of over the next 12 months, evolving into more of a developer portal that links to live data within the agencies, VanRoekel said. He added that he’s been working with the General Services Administration over the past six to nine months to make that a reality.

Some further notes from Park and VanRoekel:

  • “We’re shifting to securing data, not just devices,” VanRoekel said.
  • Park mentioned a new campaign to pay overseas contractors electronically instead of in cash to avoid the siphoning of funds.
  • VanRoekel put an emphasis on consistent analytics to enable data-driven decisions.
  • Park recruited for the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, saying that even those that can’t be full-time fellows can still participate in a part-time manner at Park added that the White House is looking to start the program soon.
  • VanRoekel reiterated that no new .gov domains will be launched.
  • VanRoekel said GSA will establish a contract vehicle for mobile devices and wireless accounts across the government.
  • The Digital Innovation Center hosted by GSA will be to mitigate duplication of government service offerings.
  • Park: “I found at HHS that the best way to get a project done in government is find the people that had that idea years ago and recruit them to work for you.”
  • Agencies will build developer pages as part of the digital policy.
  • VanRoekel said OMB is working on modular development guidance to help the chief information officer and acquisition community buy and develop systems.

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