"That's primarily my job -- to work with department heads and the city manager to make sure department heads are comfortable and assured the technology is being applied properly," he said. "Working with the top managers is how we achieve getting technology to be part of everyday business."
That approach helped Phoenix become the first SAP implementation in a local government in the country.
Murphy said work on a $120 million wireless communication system for public safety and other agencies in Phoenix and 18 surrounding towns and cities is one of his proudest accomplishments.
"We now have about 4,000 police officers on the system," he said. "This is a digital, 800 MHz system that's Project 25 compliant. That's a bond-funded program that the citizens approved. One of the things we're very proud of is that citizens here approve technology bond programs that allow us to do a lot of the things we do outside of normal operating budgets as they continue to decrease."
It's a vote of confidence from the citizens, he said, because the projects go before a citizens' committee appointed by the mayor and City Council. Getting the system up and running also required a regional approach, not necessarily the easiest road to travel.
"It's a primary goal of the mayor to enhance the regional efforts among his colleagues," Murphy said. "This system is very consistent with the mayor's vision of Phoenix working with neighboring cities and towns to leverage public investment and provide services."
-- Shane Peterson, Associate Editor
CIO/Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management
U.S. Department of Labor
Making the Grade
When President George W. Bush looks to see who tops his President Management Agenda (PMA) scorecard for e-government, he sees Patrick Pizzella, CIO for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
On Sept. 30, 2004, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) upgraded the DOL's e-government initiative to green, the highest score allowed by the PMA. E-government isn't the only area in which the DOL has done well. Security, IT investment planning, enterprise architecture and a host of other critical functions have also improved under Pizzella's watch.
The man behind these achievements has spent much of his career in public service. He was appointed to his current job by President Bush in 2001 and has been making marks in the federal CIO community ever since. Under the direction of DOL Secretary Elaine Chao, who endorsed a blueprint for transforming the department into a digital agency, Pizzella revamped major operations with IT while balancing the twin challenges of cost and performance.
The DOL is the managing partner for a Web site that allows visitors to determine their potential eligibility for benefits programs. Launched in 2002, the portal was the first of the OMB's 24 e-government initiatives to go live. Originally designed to provide access to 55 federal programs, it now provides access to 1,000 federal and state benefits programs, making it one of the few truly intergovernmental e-government services online today. Since it's inception, nearly 15 million people have visited the site.
Under Pizzella's leadership, the DOL boosted the number of IT business cases accepted by the OMB to 100 percent in September 2004, up from just 50 percent in fall 2003. Meanwhile performance measurement strategies reduced cost overruns or shortfalls from 30 percent of IT development projects to less than 10 percent.
Pizzella also streamlined the department's infrastructure with a common e-mail system, automated procurement, automated property tracking, enterprisewide directory services, as well as a safety and health information management system for worker compensation claims.
But Pizzella singles out the moment when the DOL received the green rating from the OMB for its e-government initiative as his most rewarding accomplishment so far