What It IsCongress passed the Clinger-Cohen Act in 1996 to instill private-sector IT management best practices in federal agencies. One of the most important provisions of the law requires the largest agencies to create a CIO position. The CIO was envisioned to be a top-level executive who would provide strategic insight into how IT could help mold the business processes used to deliver public services. The law also did away with much of the bureaucratic red tape that agencies were required to follow to purchase IT equipment and services, which prolonged many procurements by years. The Clinger-Cohen Act\u2019s primary provisions are:\u00bf\nCreate a CIO position that reports to the head of the agency.\u00bf\nDevelop an IT capital planning and investment process.\u00bf\nSet performance goals and standards for IT systems.\u00bf\nCreate an enterprise architecture.\u00bf\nEvaluate the skills of the agency\u2019s IT staff and identify skill gaps.\u00bf\nEvaluate the IT skills of the agency\u2019s executives.\u00bf\nDevelop hiring and training plans for the agency\u2019s workforce to improve IT management.Why It Failed\u00bf\nMost federal CIOs do not report to the head of an agency and few have full authority over the agency\u2019s IT budget.\u00bf\nCapital planning and investment reviews fail because reports are seen as paperwork exercises, and the Office of Management and Budget does not measure results or work with agencies to fix specific weaknesses in the most high-risk IT projects.\u00bf\nFew agencies measure whether performance goals and standards have been met and are given little guidance on how to do so.\u00bf\nMost agency architectures are too technical and detailed (down to the desktop) and do not serve as a blueprint of an agency\u2019s business processes, including where systems need to be interoperable and the best way to apply technology.\u00bf\nLack of project management skills is still cited as one of the primary causes of project failures.\u00bf\nAgency leaders still lack knowledge of IT\u2019s role.