Civic News
Awards / Municipal government

Jim White, second in command at the city’s Office of IT, gets award for integrity

The Deputy CIO received the award named for the late Chief Integrity Officer, Joan Markman.

Deputy CIO Jim White receives the Inspector General’s Joan Markman Award from Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. (Courtesy photo)

After 22 years of service to the City of Philadelphia, Deputy Chief Information Officer Jim White said being the recipient of the 2017 Joan Markman Award for Integrity from the Office of the Inspector General office means having to step up his own game.

It’s an award that recognizes “an individual who demonstrates a strong commitment to integrity, diligence and transparency on behalf of the City of Philadelphia.”

Hurtling towards Washington D.C. for a tech event on Wednesday afternoon— he left shortly after the ceremony, White had a quick phone chat with Technical.ly.

“I’m going to retire sometime in the near future,” said White. “But I can’t tell you what an honor this was.”

White, 65, says he personally knew Joan Markman, the former federal prosecutor and the City’s first chief integrity officer, after whom the award is named. Markman, who had been undergoing treatment for cancer, passed away in 2015.

“She always took the time to answer questions and make people feel like what they were doing was important,” White recalled. “Being able to live up to what her ideals were: that’s the real honor.”

For the past 18 years, White has been working at OIT in different management capacities. He currently works directly with CIO Charlie Brennan. With all that background, how does he feel the City’s doing in the innovation field?

“We’re moving in a good direction,” White said. “What we have to do is tackle the legacy applications and replace older systems. We’ve gotten some stuff to the cloud but we need to do more in terms of moving toward a more software-defined network in the long run.”

His answer notably focuses less on what civic tech and open data and more on legacy systems, which aligns with Brennan’s focus. (The civic tech and open data teams were moved to a different city department shortly after Brennan came on board.)

And OK, well, you heard the man, OIT. Time to get to work.

Companies: Office of Information Technology

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