CFOs hesitant to hand budget power to CIOs

Although IT departments are becoming full-fledged sectors in many hospitals' budgets and C-suites, CFOs are still resistant to giving purchasing authority to CIOs.

Since the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act was implemented in January, several federal CFOs have expressed frustration with the draft's plans to hand more budget decisions to CIOs. The Office of Management and Budget has received strong feedback from CFOs who are worried that handing more purchasing power to CIOs would damage budget priorities, according to Federal News Radio.

When the Clinger-Cohen Act was put in place in 1995, reforming how the federal government purchases, uses and disposes of IT systems, a group of CFOs released a "CFO Manifesto" calling on CIOs to answer directly to CFOs on spending. The Clinger-Cohen Act called for federal CIOs to answer to the secretaries of their agencies. When the OMB tried to give CIOs more authority for IT spending, CFOs pushed back for more oversight, according to the report.

The CIO of the Department of Veterans Affairs has had oversight over all the agency's IT budget since 2005, and many see FITARA as trying to emulate the VA's model. The OMB is currently reviewing comments on the draft and expects to release a final version by April or May, according to the report.

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