McConnell International is recognized as an independent, objective, and discerning voice on the federal marketplace, the digital economy and the effective use of ICT for development. A sample of recent media references and MI papers follows. For a more extensive review of our work, visit our Library.

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MI in the News

Measure would require agencies to appoint chief information security officers

By Gautham Nagesh

NextGov, September 12, 2008

Two lawmakers introduced a bill on Thursday to strengthen federal cybersecurity efforts and elevate the importance of chief information security officers throughout the government...

"I certainly welcome the additional attention to cybersecurity that the bill gives," said Bruce McConnell, former chief of information and technology policy at the Office of Management and Budget who currently runs the consulting firm McConnell International. "I think it's important to strengthen the role of CISOs. I think it will give them more visibility."       ... more 


Security analysts praise Obama's pledge for a cyber chief 

By Jill Aitoro

NextGov, July 18, 2008

Barack Obama's pledge on Thursday to appoint, if elected president, a national cyber adviserwho will report to him directly would be in sharp contrast to the strategy taken by the Bush administration, who many criticize for burying the cyber chief deep within the Homeland Security Department ...

Still, having the president's ear might not be good enough to effect change if authority and influence don't come with the job, said Bruce McConnell, who served three administrations as an adviser on national information security issues. He and Yoran recommended that the adviser hold a senior-level position within the National Security Council, which is the president's principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy issues with senior advisers and Cabinet officials. The council also helps coordinate policies among federal agencies.

"To be effective, the adviser must be hard-wired into the decision structure," said McConnell, now president of consulting firm McConnell International.   ... more



Info security chiefs weigh new approaches to looming threats 

By Tom Shoop 

NextGov, June 6 2008

What federal agencies don’t know about protecting their data and computer systems could really hurt them, senior federal information security professionals said on Thursday...

Bruce McConnell, former chief of information and technology policy at the Office of Management and Budget who currently runs a consulting firm (and contributes to the Tech Insider blog at Nextgov), called the situation an “invisible crisis.” Agencies, he said, have long been operating in an “inherently insecure environment,” and “the sheriff has not shown up yet.”  ...more


October 15, 2007

FCW quotes Bruce McConnnell on Web 2.0 Security Measures

However, some experts are concerned that NIST’s guide is too narrow in scope. “Web 2.0 is much bigger than the areas NIST is addressing,” said Bruce McConnell, president at consultant McConnell International.

Web services applications can create security pitfalls that experts might not fully understand, he added. For example, when coders develop programs called mashups, they integrate elements of other Web applications to create capabilities beyond those of the programs’ components. However, because mashups are not well-understood, they could carry new vulnerabilities, McConnell said. One solution is to build in rather than deploy external measures later. “Technology is starting to be developed with security built in — not as an afterthought — but this practice is not yet as widespread or as deep as it needs to be,” he said.

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June 19, 2006
Government Executive quotes Bruce McConnell on Congressional e-Gov budget cuts.

Funding for the Bush administration's e-government projects is once again facing cuts from congressional appropriators, despite intensified efforts to convince lawmakers of the initiatives' benefits.

But the Bush administration has yet to fully explain e-government's benefits to individual agencies, said Bruce McConnell, former OMB chief of information policy and technology and now president of McConnell International, a Washington-based technology policy and management consulting firm.

"You have to make that case on an agency by agency basis," McConnell said. "I think they are making some progress, but it's been a long time in coming."

"It is clear there is a great deal of skepticism on Capitol Hill," he added. "There are ways to make them legal if they're not currently legal. The question is, is there desire on the Hill's part?"

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May 10, 2006
Government Executive quotes Bruce McConnell on the maturing of the Industry Advisory Council.

Since its shared interest group reform, the council has in general become more serious, says Bruce McConnell, an IAC vice chairman and president and founder of Washington-based McConnell International, a technology consulting firm.

But networking is sometimes unjustly vilified, he adds. "It sounds like people are just socializing, but a lot of business in this town is done on the basis of relationships," he says.

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February 13, 2006
Federal Computer Week quotes Bruce McConnell on President Bush's 2007 budget which proposes $64 billion in information technology spending.

"The administration needs to build on its excellent [e-government] report by working directly with each appropriations subcommittee to explain the value of IT in terms that resonate," wrote Bruce McConnell, president of McConnell International.

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January 9, 2006
Federal Computer Week quotes Bruce McConnell on effective CIOs.

Focus on the Mission — "It's not about technology," said Bruce McConnell, former chief of information policy and technology at the Office of Management and Budget and now president of McConnell International. "It's about what the organization is trying to accomplish. The CIOs who are effective are focused on the business goals and the mission goals. Technology is the tool they are using to help the organization meet those goals."

Build Alliances — Other CXOs, such as the chief financial officer and the chief human capital officer, should be the CIO's closest allies, McConnell said. To do this, CIOs should carefully listen to the CXOs' priorities and concerns, while being transparent about their own goals and needs. "They are people who care about management issues who are at the corporatewide or programwide table, as opposed to business-line owners who may not care about management," he said. "They share a common interest."

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August 01, 2005
Washington Technology quotes Bruce McConnell on global e-government.

E-government is one area in which other nations have surpassed the United States since the trend emerged nearly a decade ago.

Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Singapore and other countries have had an easier time implementing e-government primarily because they had fewer issues associated with legacy systems, said Bruce McConnell, president of global policy and technology consultancy McConnell International LLC in Washington.

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August 01, 2005
Washington Technology quotes Bruce McConnell on international security market.

The homeland security market has a greater base overseas, said Bruce McConnell, president of global policy and technology consultancy McConnell International LLC in Washington. Governments overseas have been addressing security concerns longer than has the United States, where it is a relatively new phenomenon, he said.

In the realm of new technologies, "there are more green fields abroad. For them, the war on terror is a matter of degree rather than a new paradigm," McConnell said.

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August 01, 2005
Washington Technology quotes Bruce McConnell on successful strategies in government markets.

Local knowledge and working with local companies are keys to success in working with other governments, analysts and industry officials said.

Local partners can help companies understand government-to-industry relationships and guide U.S. companies through sticky political issues or regulatory requirements, said Bruce McConnell, president of global policy and technology consultancy McConnell International LLC in Washington.

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July 18, 2005
Washington Technology reports on 2005 executive committee for the Industry Advisory Council.

The Industry Advisory Council, Fairfax, Va., announced its 2005 executive committee for the 2005-2007 term: Chair Ellen Glover, Dynamics Research Corp.; Executive Vice Chair Bill Piatt, Science Applications International Corp.; Vice Chair for Communications Karen Smith of Smith Associates; Vice Chair for Professional Development Leslie Barry, Computer Associates International Inc.; Vice Chair for Outreach Bruce McConnell, McConnell International LLC; Vice Chair for Programs Joe Draham, GTSI Corp.; and vice chairs at large Deirdre Murray, Sprint Corp.; Sally Turner, CGI-AMS; and Daniel Chenok, SRA International, Inc.v

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June 20, 2005
Federal Computer Week quotes Bruce McConnell on the impact of the 10 year old Clinger-Cohen Act.

But as OMB's authority over IT investments increased under the new law, agencies' responsibilities did, too. "The Clinger-Cohen Act empowered the agencies, gave them both the tools such as CPIC and the CIOs and the responsibility to control their own destiny," said Bruce McConnell, Schlarman's predecessor at OMB and now president of McConnell International.

But many CIOs are still fighting for that elusive seat at the table. "Let's face it. The CIOs are completely misnamed," McConnell said. "They continue to be chief information technology officers, not chief information officers."

Being thought of as a technology wonk means being locked away in the backroom while the cool kids set the agenda. For the most part, CIOs are not "integrally related to managing the core mission in the agencies," McConnell said. It became news when FBI Director Robert Mueller announced that his CIO had bureauwide approval authority over IT spending.

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MI Perspective on Federal Issues.                                               Return to Top of Page

August 05 State of Play on E-Gov and Lines of Business.

This report provides information on E-Gov initiatives and the August 2005 status of E-Gov in the Administration and in Congress.

July 05 President’s Management Agenda – Goals and Scorecard

This report highlights the five government-wide President’s Management Agenda (PMA) initiatives that are providing opportunities in the federal government for IT and consulting companies.

July 05 FISMA: Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 and Davis Committee Report Card

This report will be of interest to readers who want to understand the derivation of the Federal Computer Security Report Card grades and the information systems security requirements of the agencies and OMB.