Former Federal Aviation Administration chief information officer David Bowen joined the Office of Personnel Management as its chief technology officer earlier this month.
He will play a major role in modernizing the government’s retirement system, currently suffering under a backlog of 60,000 claims.
Bowen also will work with OPM’s CIO Matt Perry to make sure the federal hiring website USAJobs.gov avoids further technical problems.
OPM Director John Berry first announced that the agency would bring on a CTO at a Congressional hearing in which lawmakers lambasted OPM’s handling of USAJobs and its outdated retirement system.
When OPM relaunched USAJobs in October, the site crashed under the weight of millions of job seekers. Berry described the first weeks as a “death spiral.”
The retirement system, however, is a more immediate concern in light of its increasing backlog. Berry said OPM falls behind by 1,900 retiree applications a month, and the agency has seen a surge in retirements in 2011.
Prior to working at the FAA, Bowen was the chief information officer at Blue Shield of California.