After 16 years at the Government Accountability Office, Dave Powner, the high priest of government IT accountability is stepping away from the alter.

A fixture in every Hill IT hearing in both the House and Senate, Powner, director of IT issues at GAO, has done more than any other government executive to shape the course of Federal IT accountability and efficiency initiatives.  His tenure has bridged multiple administrations and Federal CIOs–and it’s that continuity that distinguishes his efforts.  Powner has served as the true north compass point for Congressmen and Senators on IT management–he knows where all the bodies are buried and holds critical trust relationships.  Known for speaking his mind and holding CIOs to task, Powner has been a tireless advocate for tangible progress.

His highest profile achievements revolve around the FITARA scorecard and the IT high-risk list.  Powner remains a firm believer in the FITARA scorecard as the pivotal mechanism for holding agencies to account for IT transparency, transformation, and efficiency.

As he steps into the private sector, Powner leaves big shoes to fill at GAO.  As the Hill recognizes agencies for their achievements in FITARA, and Suzette Kent, the Federal CIO, hosts a forum to discuss the direction for FITARA moving forward on August 2nd, it’s an interesting time for a change of leadership in IT at GAO.  Mr. Powner, thank you for your service and the tough love and nurturing you’ve provided to the Federal IT community and our nation.  Happy trails, don’t be a stranger.

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Steve O'Keeffe
Steve O'Keeffe
The most connected executive in the government technology community – O'Keeffe is an accomplished entrepreneur and tech-policy expert, with 30 years’ experience as an innovator at the crossroads of government and industry. He founded MeriTalk, O'Keeffe & Company, 300Brand, among other entities. O'Keeffe is a fixture on the Hill, in both the House and Senate, testifying on IT, budget, government workforce, and the requirement to modernize government IT to enhance outcomes for the American people and government employees. He is a champion for change, simplification, transparency, and clear communication of IT value without jargon. A committed philanthropist, O'Keeffe has served for 15 years on the USO-Metro Board of Directors – Vice Chairman of the Board and Chair of the Annual Awards Dinner. He started his career as a journalist – O'Keeffe has contributed to The Economist, Government Executive, Signal Magazine, The Washington Post, and, of course, MeriTalk.