Mar 27 2008

Certified City and County CIOs

Academic institutions and professional association align to certify public-sector CIOs.

Tech leaders in city and county government looking to advance their careers have a new professional-development option: public-service chief information officer certification.

The University of North Carolina School of Government’s Center for Public Technology and the John Scott Dailey Florida Institute of Government at Florida State University have formed an organization to advance IT education for the public sector. Dubbed “Consortium for State and Local Government Technology Leadership Development,” the group created a national certification and professional-development program for CIOs in the public sector.

Coursework will span 240 professional-development hours over a 12-month period, including five multiday in-person classes to be held every two to three months. Among the many topics covered by the curriculum: understanding the enterprise, what local governments want and need from IT, the role of the CIO, IT as a customer-service organization, strategic technology planning, strategic goal alignment, creating the business case, records management, and workforce management and succession planning.

This is the first recognized technology professional-development and certification program for local government IT leaders, according to the Public Technology Institute. “The opportunities offered through the consortium will augment the skills that executives have already achieved in their roles of delivering technology services in local government,” says Alan Shark, executive director of PTI. “Participation in this program will improve the leadership and managerial skills, business acumen and organizational expertise of technology executives.”

CIOs Angela Tousey of the town of Clayton, N.C, and Roy Mentkow, director of technology for Roanoke, Va., have already benefited from UNC’s Certified Government CIO program. Both say the education better prepared them for the strategic-planning aspect of their jobs. (See “Targeted Training”)

Thanks to the consortium’s program, more IT leaders across the country will have access to this training. The way it currently works, UNC and FSU offer customized modules specific to their local and state government IT leadership. The consortium plans to use this model to build the program with universities in other states.