Federal CIO Vivek Kundra outlines top priorities for first 100 days

Vivek Kundra addresses POC members
Vivek Kundra addresses POC

Hold on to your hats, the federal government is set to lead the way in IT innovation. Federal CIO Vivek Kundra drove home that point in a talk before a packed audience of the Potomac Officers Club yesterday. 

“For too long, the federal government has had a self-image that it can’t innovate — I reject that view,” said Kundra, who was appointed the country’s first federal CIO in early March.

Kundra’s first 100 days: What’s next
Since taking office, Kundra has focused on implementing the Obama administration’s commitment to technology as a driver for more open, efficient government. In his POC talk, Kundra reiterated that commitment — and outlined priorities for his own first 100 days:

  • Investment in IT: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act showcases Obama’s seriousness about IT investment, said Kundra. With its focus on everything from computerizing health records to providing broadband access nationwide, ARRA amounts to the single largest boost to investment in basic research in American history, said Kundra.
  • Ensuring government transparency. In tough economic times, we can’t afford business as usual, said Kundra. For the government, that reality means rethinking the length of the procurement cycle, and balancing it against the need for greater cybersecurity and privacy.
  • Rethinking technology. “Technology investments for technology’s sake are useless,” said Kundra, adding that government should not simply build “gov-centric platforms.” “We need to be where the people are,” said Kundra.

That innovation, he added, won’t come without open collaboration with the private sector. Kundra extended an “open invitation” for  dialogue with the private sector on how best to work together and said he’s “super-excited” about future collaboration.

What do you think? How can the private sector help the government drive transparency and more efficient services? Share your thoughts here.

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