HUD names Diaz as new CIO

Monday - 6/23/2014, 4:58pm EDT

The Department of Housing and Urban Development followed what's getting to be a familiar trend in hiring a new chief information officer.

In naming Rafael Diaz to be its next CIO, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, who has been nominated to be the next director of the Office of Management and Budget, found someone with wide-ranging experience in the public and private sectors, especially at the state and local levels.

Similar to Treasury Department's outgoing CIO Robyn East and the former Defense Department CIO Teri Takai, Diaz was the chief information security officer of Chicago, the CIO of Illinois and worked for Deloitte on global security strategies.

Donovan announced Diaz's hiring June 17 in an email to staff.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is scheduled to vote on Donovan's nomination to be OMB director on Wednesday.

Diaz replaces Jerry Williams, who left HUD in May 2013 after four years. He now is the CIO at the Education Department's Federal Student Aid office.

Kevin Cooke, the HUD deputy CIO, has been acting since Williams left. Donovan said in his email Cooke will return to the deputy CIO role.

As for Diaz, he takes over an agency with a $290 million IT budget for fiscal 2014 and a $281 million request for 2015. HUD's IT budget, according to OMB documents, would be drop by $100 million between 2013 and 2015.

Among Diaz's top priorities will be helping HUD move to a federal shared service provider for financial management. HUD is working closely with Department's Bureau of Fiscal Service's Administrative Resources Center to move its financial system.

Additionally, Diaz will take over the migration away from the HUD HITS managed IT services contract. The agency recently issued a request for proposals for its AM2 contract that falls under the bigger umbrella of a program previously called HUDNet.

HUD recently issued a RFP, called AM2, for the first of what could several follow- on contracts to move them out of a managed service. AM2 is for technical management support, program management support, and tactical planning to support HUD's management of its IT operations environment and associated service delivery contracts, according to the RFP.

"This will include minor support for transitioning from the current HITS contracts to the future infrastructure contracts, as well as ongoing support for all infrastructure service delivery and support functions. The AM2 work sought under this solicitation consists of coordination, consolidation, integration, validation and management rather than direct operations," the agency said in the solicitation.

According to the Federal IT Dashboard, HUD has nine major IT investments worth $236.8 million, ranging from $150.1 million for infrastructure system and monitoring support to $26.3 million for core financial services to $18.9 million for its mortgage insurance risk management system.

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