Wednesday, April 2, 2008

District Technology Chief Testifies on FY 2009 Budget

District of Columbia Chief Technology Officer Vivek Kundra today testified before the District Council on the FY 2009 budget of the District’s technology agency, the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO). Mr. Kundra took office as District CTO on May 7, 2007.

Appearing before the Committee on Workforce Development and Government Operations, chaired by Councilmember Carol Schwartz (R-At Large), Mr. Kundra described OCTO’s budget practice improvements and outlined major agency initiatives planned for FY 2009.

Mr. Kundra described steps OCTO has taken to increase transparency and accountability in its budget. For example, he said, OCTO has created new operating accounts to distinguish operating from capital services and has separated some previously combined accounts to increase management accountability.

Mr. Kundra identified a series of key OCTO initiatives for FY 09. For example, OCTO will:

  • Upgrade the DC STARS student information system so teachers, administrators, and eventually parents can track each student’s progress from the start of school to graduation;

  • Deploy the "One Card" picture ID to provide 53,000 students a single card for entry to schools, libraries, and recreation centers—with Metro access to help them get there;

  • Implement instructional applications such as Read 180, Accelerated Math, PLATO, and Leapfrog to help boost reading and math performance for students at all levels;

  • Upgrade the WINSNAP nutrition system to ensure that DCPS has the data needed to recoup millions of dollars in National School Lunch Program reimbursement;

  • Equip the mobile workforce so workers like police, fire/EMS, and building inspectors can spend more time serving customers in the field and less time in the office doing paperwork;

  • Continue optimizing the pooling of wireless minutes District-wide to cut cellphone costs;

  • Continue providing all District agencies with accessible, reliable IT utilities like email, Internet access, telecommunications, PDAs, and data processing; and

  • Wage a “War on Paper” by digitizing millions of paper records, adding new modules to the District’s citywide procurement, HR, and payroll systems, and finding innovative new alternatives to paper processes.

Summarizing the FY 09 budget, Mr. Kundra said, “With the firm foundation it provides, we can carry out our citywide technology mission and help create a greener city and deliver more effective, more efficient government services for the District of Columbia.”