The last six months have been incredibly busy here at the NRC – not just in response to the tragic events in Japan – but also with our inspections, public meetings and licensing reviews. One way we’re meeting the challenge is with improved technology.
To improve NRC’s use of technology, we have been diligently working toward the goals set forth in the 25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal IT Management. Implementing this plan is helping us modernize our operations, create efficiencies, save resources and improve effectiveness.
One of the more important components of this reform plan is moving toward cloud-based systems. For example, we are now using a General Services Administration private cloud hosting platform for our capital planning, rather than one hosted internally at the NRC. We expect the NRC will save about $50,000 a year with this move. We are also reducing travel time and expenses using cloud-based online meeting resources. We will continue to look for opportunities to migrate our processes to the cloud wherever possible and where it makes good business sense for the NRC.
I also recently conducted our second NRC TechStat session. A TechStat session is an in-depth, review of an IT system. I’ve found it to be a very effective tool to analyze and improve system performance, to help implement a new system or to address a critical, challenging issue. Our most recent review focused on the retirement of our licensee fee billing system – basically the system the NRC uses to generate bills to our licensees for work we’ve done. Our new accounting system will now be used, but NRC staff needs access to archived, historical data from the old system. Based on our review, we agreed upon an approach that will ensure access to the data, but at a much lower cost than originally proposed.
We are now planning our third TechStat session to review our Enterprise Project Management system, and others will occur over the coming months, as these meetings are now a central component of our IT management strategy.
These are just a few examples of how modernizing our IT enhances the mission of the NRC. Using the 25 Point Plan as a roadmap, my team and I are continuing to find efficient, effective IT solutions to serve NRC. As we find new ways to solve these problems, we plan to share them with our counterparts across the government. By cooperating with other agencies and sharing best practices, we will speed the pace and enhance the quality of IT reform.Darren B. Ash Chief Information Officer