CBP CIO to leave after three years

Sonny Bhagowalia, the deputy assistant commissioner and deputy CIO, will be take over for Landfried in the interim.

Phil Landfried, the chief information officer and assistant commissioner of the Office of Information and Technology (OIT) at the Customs and Border Protection directorate in the Department of Homeland Security is retiring on June 30.

A CBP spokesman confirmed Landfried’s decision to retire after 16 years of federal service. The spokesman said Sonny Bhagowalia, the deputy assistant commissioner and deputy CIO, will be take over for Landfried in the interim.

Landfried has been CIO of CBP since 2017 when he took over for Charlie Armstrong who retired.

Phil Landfried is leaving as the chief information officer at the Customs and Border Protection directorate.

Before coming to CBP, he worked in other areas of OIT. Landfried was the deputy assistant commissioner and executive director of the Cargo Systems Program Directorate where he oversaw all aspects of CBP’s cargo systems.

He implemented agile software development to advance the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). The office used agile to deploy software that improved cargo processing and the agency’s relationships with trade partners and other government agencies.

Before that role, Landfried also served as executive director for the Targeting and Analysis Systems Program Directorate (TASPD) in OIT.

During his tenure as CIO, Landfried rarely spoke publicly about CBP’s ongoing IT modernization efforts. The agency has made some significant progress around network and bandwidth challenges and securely connecting devices to the cloud.

He also added enterprise business management support services under a deal with Deloitte in 2019, according to a FCW report. CBP also has worked closely with IBM to move applications to the cloud and implement robotics process automation tools.

CBP came under scrutiny in December by the DHS inspector general for lacking the technology to track migrant families, which led to numerous errors

In taking over as CBP’s acting CIO, Bhagowalia, who joined the agency in 2018, is in good position to continue to make progress. He has been CIO at the departments of Treasury and Interior, as well as the State of Hawaii.

Bhagowalia, for example,  will continue IT modernization efforts as CBP asked for $23.4 million more funding in fiscal 2021 to migrate its applications currently residing in its data center to the cloud.

“This migration is consistent with DHS and CBP’s IT Modernization strategies. CBP requires cloud migration funding to modernize and to align its infrastructure and operations with the guidelines and policies as stated in the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI), and most recently Cloud Smart policies,” CBP stated in its 2021 budget justification. “The agency has identified over 180 applications that must migrate to the cloud before 2025. This funding is to migrate applications and sustain operational capability in dual locations until the migration is complete.”

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