The Department of the Navy’s chief information officer, Terry Halvorsen, will assume the position of acting Defense Department CIO on May 21, FedScoop has confirmed.
The appointment comes just two weeks after David DeVries assumed the post from former CIO Teri Takai, who left the department May 2. A Pentagon spokesperson could not yet comment on the sudden change.
A former senior Pentagon official who worked closely with DOD’s CIO office, however, said the sudden change is not unusual.
“Terry was the CIO for the Department of Navy when Bob Work was the undersecretary there,” said the former official, who spoke to FedScoop on background.
Work was tapped Feb. 7 to be the deputy secretary of defense. “He has an excellent working relationship with Bob,” the former official said. “Terry was instrumental in providing efficiencies in IT for the Navy.”
The timing of Halvorsen’s appointment is also not unusual, the former official added. “With the CIO and the principal deputy positions open, they needed to act quickly to put in an acting [CIO] until they sort out the broader organization issues,” the former official said.
Halvorsen has been the Department of the Navy’s CIO since 2010. Prior to that, he served as the deputy commander of Navy Cyber Forces and also spent four years as the deputy commander of the Naval Network Warfare Command in Norfolk, Virginia.
Halvorsen is perhaps best known for his efforts to get the Navy’s IT budgeting under control and to find new efficiencies. By the end of 2012, Halvorsen had cut $100 million from the Navy’s IT budget through a series of key cost-saving initiatives.
For example, the Navy established the DON Enterprise Wireless Contracts in January 2011 with the intent of streamlining the department’s cellular purchasing habits. These contracts enabled the Navy to pool its cellular-purchasing requirements to drive down costs and gain greater transparency into purchasing spending. The effort saved nearly $30 million.
The Navy also introduced its Enterprise Licensing Agreement, which provided better spending visibility and helped keep costs down by using software licenses that apply to the entire department, rather than purchasing multiple licenses for various commands. By the end of 2012, the department had realized about $35 million in savings from the effort.
Halvorsen also led efforts by the Navy to save money on printing costs, either by eliminating the need for printing or by employing multifunction devices that combine print, fax, copy and scan functions, rather than stand-alone printers. Halvorsen estimated the department would realize $200 million to $250 million in savings by 2017.