DoD CIO moving over to OPM

Office of Personnel Management still reeling from last year's massive theft of 21 million records
Written by John Fontana, Contributor

More than a year after a massive theft of 21 million records, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has hired a permanent CIO.

Former Department of Defense (DoD) CIO David DeVries, whose career spans some 35 years, will move over in the coming weeks to the civilian side as the CIO of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). He replaces Donna Seymour, who resigned as OPM's CIO in February just before congressional hearings into the OPM breach.


David DeVries is taking over as CIO at the U.S. Office of Personnel

DeVries brings some synergies that should help OPM, which is partnering with the DOD to build a National Background Investigations Bureau. The bureau will be housed at OPM but run on systems built by DoD.

DeVries will move right into the fire. In late May, the OPM inspector general issued a report saying OPM has yet to carry out federally mandated planning practices as part of a project to overhaul its IT infrastructure. The project has been active for two years and is part of OPM's efforts to revamp its IT security following a data breach that dates back to early 2014. The project, now called Infrastructure as a Service, has a base cost estimate of $93 million.

The recovery process has been slowed by federal rules that govern technology and services procurement, which hampered OPM from updating its well-documented poor IT security. The bureaucracy in hiring contractors to deal with the massive breach of 21 million records caused other embarrassing problems, such as preventing official notification of tens of millions of breach victims that represented 7% of the U.S. population, including 1.8 million family members of those who sought federal security clearance via OPM.

DeVries enters with a wealth of experience as both DoD principal deputy CIO since March 22, 2015, and a nearly yearlong stint that started in May 2014 as acting DOD principal deputy CIO. In addition, DeVries has been deeply involved since Sept. 2010 in several government technology efforts including moving the department towards adopting a Joint Information Enterprise (JIE) based on a single, secure, reliable DoD-wide IT architecture.

DeVries has a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy, and a Master of Sience in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington in Seattle. He graduated from the Army Senior Service College and was a Corporate Fellow with IBM Business Consulting Services as part of the Secretary of Defense Corporate Fellowship Program.

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