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State CIOs Interested in Federal IT Project Management Tools

U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra says the federal government’s IT project accountability sessions have been made open source.

CIOs from 38 state and territorial governments have expressed interest in evaluating the federal government’s IT dashboard and project management tool sets for use in their state governments.

U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra announced on the White House blog Thursday, March 31, that the software code enabling his IT project accountability sessions has been made open source.

The Civic Commons staff, led by Karl Fogel, helped the original contractor prepare the code for release under an open source license.

The tools include the software behind the IT Dashboard, a website that makes available and visualizes spending data on the federal government’s IT portfolio; and the TechStat Toolkit, the back-end resources that enable “face-to-face, evidence-based review of an IT program with the Office of Management and Budget and agency leadership.”

The 38 states and territories are interested in testing and evaluating the tools, according to a statement Thursday by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers.

“A high priority and major challenge for state chief information officers is monitoring the performance of IT investments, said the association’s president, West Virginia CTO Kyle Schafer. “With Vivek’s background in state and local government, he understands this challenge.” Kundra is an ex-CTO of Washington, D.C.

“Because of current state budget issues, having access to open source modules for these critical functions is very valuable. From early indications, the interest in evaluating these tools is very high,” Schafer continued.

Kundra said on his blog that the project accountability tools are also drawing interest from local government CIOs.

But while the tools themselves are free to use, integrating them into an organization comes at a cost. In fact, the OMB has requested a $60 million budget for fiscal 2012 that would fund and expand the federal government’s TechStat sessions.

Kundra said the federal government’s TechStat sessions, started in 2009, have reduced IT-related costs by more than $3 billion.


Miriam Jones is a former chief copy editor of Government Technology, Governing, Public CIO and Emergency Management magazines.