USDA reduces 22 chief information officers to one | TheFencePost.com

USDA reduces 22 chief information officers to one

Steve Censky

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky announced the Agriculture Department will end the practice of having 22 chief information officers in its divisions in favor of a single chief information officer for the department and seven assistant chief information officers for the mission areas.

USDA will also consolidate its 39 data centers to one data center and a back-up. The single data center "will provide a cost-effective, high-quality department-wide help desk and reduce cybersecurity vulnerabilities," USDA said in a news release.

All new farm bill programs will be delivered online through "service portals that are easy-to-use, include additional self-service capabilities, and integrate data for common customers," USDA added.

"When I was sworn in, Secretary (Sonny) Perdue charged me to help him make USDA the most effective, most efficient, most customer-focused department in the entire federal government," Censky said in a news release.

"One way to do that is by instituting a new operating model for IT. We have no choice but to modernize — we cannot continue to conduct business for the next 150 years based on splintered and out-of-date operating models."

Censky made the announcement as the White House Office of American Innovation, the General Services Administration, and USDA held an "Industry Day" in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building for the private sector to learn about the new "Information Technology Modernization Centers of Excellence" at USDA.