Coast Guard seeks new IT directorate

Act of Congress needed to fully carry out modernization plans, GAO says

The Coast Guard recently established a new information technology service center and is asking Congress for authorization to create a new command structure for IT modernization and other purposes, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office.

The GAO report, published June 24, provides an update on the Coast Guard’s modernization effort, which began in 2006. The program covers major initiatives to update financial accounting, logistics and acquisition systems, and create a more effective command and control structure.

As part of that effort, the service has established several new logistics centers, including the Command, Control, Communications, Computers and IT (C4&IT) Service Center in Alexandria, Va., which opened in March.

The Coast Guard has also proposed changes in law to enable the creation of four new organizational entities, including the Deputy Commandant for Mission Support, which would oversee the C4&IT Directorate. The Coast Guard’s goal was to have the legislative changes in place and the new positions and directorates formed by this month, the report states.

In addition, the deputy commandant would implement a service-oriented architecture, according to the report.

The Coast Guard officials have said that all interim key actions have been completed on schedule for the modernization effort, and they have created business plans for implementing several new components. The service has also worked with the National Academy of Public Administration to assess its modernization effort. However, to fully carry out the plans, the Coast Guard must obtain additional authorization from Congress, GAO said.

The Coast Guard provided technical corrections to the report but declined to make additional comments to GAO.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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