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CHIPS Articles: CIO Handbook informs CIOs, Deputy CIOs, agency heads and other senior leaders with vital information needed to be a tech leader

CIO Handbook informs CIOs, Deputy CIOs, agency heads and other senior leaders with vital information needed to be a tech leader
By CHIPS Magazine - March 2, 2021
As a business executive, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) challenges executive leadership to think strategically about digital disruptions that are forcing business models to change and technology's role in mission delivery. As a technology leader, the CIO enables and rapidly scales the agency's digital business ecosystem while concurrently ensuring digital security. The CIO drives transformation, manages innovation, develops talent, enables the use of data, and takes advantage of evolving technologies, according to the CIO Council.

The Federal Chief Information Officers Handbook is provided for newly designated CIOs, Deputy CIOs, agency heads and other senior leaders during transition to both understand the role of the CIO and the CIO Council.

The handbook aims to give CIOs important information needed to be a technology leader at their respective agency. It is designed to be useful both to an executive with no federal government experience as well as to a seasoned federal employee familiar with the nuances of government management. At its core, the handbook is a collection of resources that illuminate the many facets of the federal IT landscape and the related issues and opportunities of federal management, according to the handbook’s executive summary.

The handbook is designed to educate and inform new and existing CIOs about their roles and responsibilities; highlight laws, policies, tools, and initiatives that can assist CIOs and their staff as they develop or improve their organization's IT portfolio; streamlines agency processes and improves reporting to oversight entities; and enables improved decision-making by leading and facilitating communication and collaboration within agencies and government-wide.

The handbook reviews statutory responsibilities that define the CIO's authorities and mandate in eight responsibility areas, the corresponding Laws and Executive Orders, and any applicable implementation guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and other government-wide organizations.

It describes, in detail, the applicable laws relevant to the CIO's role, other authorities, and essential stakeholders that CIOs should meet in their first month, and key organizations and their role in Federal IT.

Further, the handbook outlines government-wide IT policies and initiatives, summarizes the many kinds of reporting activities the CIO must conduct to keep their agency accountable to government-wide authorities, and provides a reporting calendar with the most up-to-date reporting activities available.

The handbook concludes with a list of additional federal IT resources and where to find them. Additionally, the CIO.gov website hosts a page with links to CIO applicable laws, responsibilities, policies and initiatives, and more.

The CIO Council said the handbook is meant to provide CIOs with a foundational understanding of their role. The tools, initiatives, policies, and links to more detailed information make the handbook an effective reference document regardless of the reader's familiarity with federal IT.

To download the CIO handbook, please link to: https://www.cio.gov/assets/files/Handbook-CIO.pdf

To access links to additional resources, please go to: https://www.cio.gov/cio-handbook/

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