In a hearing characterized by interruptions and flashes of anger by members of Congress at each other, healthcare.gov project manager Henry Chao told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that his decision to disable an anonymous shopper feature on the troubled website was driven by technical difficulties, not White House pressure."It failed so miserably that we could not conscionably let people use it," Chao said.
Efforts throughout government to cut the cost of federal data centers continue to grind along, with the General Services Administration and the Defense Information Systems Agency recently announcing separate progress. The Homeland Security Department also published a Sept. 30 request for information that said the department plans to transition from a data center model where it pays for data centers by the square foot to an "as-a-service" model where it pays for use.
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – The development problems of healthcare.gov are a "teachable moment," said Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel. "It's often notable risk taking or notable failures that teach us how to do things differently in the future," he told an audience at the annual ACT-IAC Executive Leadership Conference.
Damage control and political fire-fanning dominate the fourth week of healthcare.gov's existence, making the federal healthcare insurance website for the 36 states that refused to build their own insurance exchange the locus for partisan divide and continuing criticism of federal information technology management. A poll shows that a majority of Americans may already believe that website problems are part of a broader problem with the health insurance law's implementation.
The Federal Chief Information Officer Council announced Aug. 9 a reorganization effort that will shift its work to operate in three core committees--innovation; portfolio management; and information security and identity management.
Changes in the Office of Management and Budget definition of "data center" are more responsible for the growth in enumerated federal data centers than poor inventory management, Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel told a July 25 House panel.
The Office of Management and Budget's estimated governmentwide cost savings from TechStat Accountability Sessions, the oversight program it uses to review agencies' troubled technology investments, could be grossly overstated. Based on agency documentation, the Government Accountability Office identified only $22.2 million in cost savings and avoidances.
"It's a no brainer to give them authority over the commodity IT and we eventually want to move certain agencies where they have input on the mission critical applications. But what we're learning on PortfolioStat is that CIOs are struggling having authority over commodity IT," said David Powner, director of information technology management issues at the Government Accountability Office.
"We have implemented a governmentwide analytics program across federal websites that allow us to have a view--while respecting security and privacy of the people accessing it--a view of people as they move through the federal websites," said Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel.
Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel hosted a press call May 23 to discuss 1 year of deliverables under the Office of Management and Budget's Digital Government Strategy.