Testimony of Karen Evans
May 19, 2004
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:
Thank you for inviting me to speak with you today to discuss the Administrations Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) Program.
The FEA provides a strategic model and plan to improve federal information technology (IT) investment management, create cross-agency collaboration, and enhance government-wide information sharing. My remarks will provide an update on key enterprise architecture (EA) developments across the federal government, specifically focusing on the value of the FEA Program and its support of individual agency EA initiatives in using IT to achieve results for the American people.
An objective of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA); the Clinger-Cohen Act; the E-Government Act of 2002; and the Presidents Management Agenda (PMA) is to integrate resource decision-making with disciplined planning activities to yield better program performance. The Administration is working to ensure the government as a whole and the agencies in particular apply and implement this objective in managing our IT resources and assets.
From this perspective, we are approaching the challenge on a dual track. First, we are focusing on developing a strategic framework. The goals of the Federal Enterprise Architecture are to:
Achieving these goals ensures the government makes the most efficient application of limited resources to fulfill its important responsibilities and obligations to the American people.
Second, the FEA is supporting the maturation of enterprise architecture efforts being developed and implemented in agencies and departments. Through the Federal Enterprise Architecture, agencies are able to characterize each of their IT investments by:
Whether at the federal, agency, or program level, a mature and continually utilized EA helps in the management of resources by plainly organizing the enterprises IT assets within an understandable strategic framework. This framework not only shows the current baseline of an organizations IT assets, but more importantly, it enables agency leaders to develop a clear roadmap for future investments while ensuring a more efficient IT portfolio. This roadmap directly supports the delivery of faster and better program performance, resulting in the fulfillment of an agencys core mission. The EA ties IT to business processes and results. It serves as a consistent, comprehensive analytical structure giving federal managers valuable information to make better IT investment decisions. These decisions lead to smarter, more efficient technology use, resulting not only in cost savings, but over time, in measurably improved program performance across government.
Directly supporting the E-Government initiative of the PMA, the FEA Program was established by OMB in February 2002 to build a comprehensive business-driven blueprint of the entire federal government. The FEA framework and four of its supporting reference models (Performance, Business, Service Component and Technical) are now used by agencies in developing their budgets and setting strategic goals. The fifth and final reference model (the Data Reference Model) is currently under OMB review and will be released soon for agency comment. With the completion of the five FEA reference models, the FEA will evolve into the common language for diverse agencies to use while communicating with each other and with state and local governments seeking to collaborate on common solutions.
In addition to supporting agencies EA efforts, the federal government is using the FEA to identify numerous cross-agency opportunities to cut costs and increase efficiency through sharing common business functions and technology applications to achieve results for the taxpayer. In contrast to planning methods of the past, EA is a business-driven not technology-driven approach to creating best-practice E-Government solutions to bring faster, better and more cost-effective services to citizens. Specifically, we are enhancing the FEA to maximize the performance of the Federal governments $60 billion IT portfolio by:
There is significant work needed to be completed to achieve the full potential existing within the FEA. We are aware of the gaps existing within our emerging activities and will develop the remaining elements to complete the framework, for example, the Data Reference Model and integration of the CIO Councils security and privacy profile into the framework. We are emphasizing the establishment of common language and taxonomy to represent the FEA, so stovepipes continue to fall. Agency alignment with the FEA needs to be transparent and incorporated into agency EA programs. The FEA continues to provide a transformational opportunity to better enable collaboration across the federal government, within and between agencies, and with state and local governments.
The FEA is being implemented in various ways. The framework has yielded results demonstrating a new ability for the federal government to drive collaboration and accelerate consolidation of redundant activities, saving taxpayer dollars. The FEA has been involved by providing analytical underpinning for the 24 E-Gov initiatives and the Line of Business (LoB) activities and is being incorporated into agency guidance and policy for use during budget formulation activities. In addition, we have been meeting with all agencies and have established a dialogue around the FEA information supplied to OMB as part of the FY05 budget process. OMB has been able to take advantage of FEA data for the development of the FY04 and FY05 Presidents Budgets. This year will be the first time agencies have access to and use of the same data to accomplish some of the objectives outlined earlier. Some specific examples of both federal and agency applications follow:
Lines of Business
Line of Business (LoB) is a functional representation of the overall business responsibilities of government. Our analysis of LoB data is a prime example of the FEAs value in using architecture to identify new efficiencies in government. Rather than identifying collaboration or consolidation opportunities up front, and then building architectures to implement them (as was done with the selection of the 24 E-Gov initiatives), the LoB analysis effort is a product of architecture.
Specifically, FEA review of information collected from agencies in the FY04 and FY05 budget processes revealed five government-wide LoB collaboration opportunities to reduce redundant investments and improve efficiencies. In response to this preliminary review, OMB launched a government-wide effort in February 2004 to analyze the first set of LoB initiatives. The LoB Task Forces are now using EA-based principles and proven best practices to identify business-driven, common solutions to transform government by breaking down traditional agency silos and increasing collaboration. These five LoBs and their agency task-force leads are:
(FM) The Departments of Energy and Labor
The LoB Task Forces will identify common solutions and collaborate with participating agencies to complete joint business cases by early September 2004. Implementation of these solutions will begin in FY05, leading to significant improvements in process efficiency, system interoperability, and data sharing.
EA Assessment Framework
Recently, OMB developed an EA Assessment Framework to help agencies improve their EA programs and benefit from the results of using EA as a strategic planning tool. The EA Assessment Framework will be used annually by OMB and agencies to identify opportunities and facilitate the discussion of EA performance objectives. This ongoing collaboration between OMB and agencies will facilitate year-round architectural improvements. These improvements will lead to better resource allocation decisions and enhanced efficiency and effectiveness of a wide range of government programs.
OMBs EA Assessment Framework is designed to help each agency assess the capability of its EA program. For our purposes, capability refers to the overall maturity of the EAs work products; the ability to identify specific IT investment recommendations; the reflection of the FEA reference models; and the potential for intergovernmental collaboration on IT solutions. The OMB framework complements the General Accounting Office (GAO) EA Management Maturity Framework, which assesses EA program capacity.
Results from agency EA assessment meetings have been encouraging. In general, most agencies have developed the methodologies and processes necessary to support their EA programs, and have solid descriptions of their baseline environments. In the coming months, OMB will work closely with agencies to integrate performance objectives and measures into their EAs and to develop detailed target architectures and supporting transition plans.
In support of agency enterprise architecture efforts, OMBs EA Assessment Framework was recently added as a requirement to the Scorecard of the Presidents Management Agenda (PMA). By institutionalizing the annual review of agency enterprise architectures, improvements and savings can be better targeted and results measured.
Agency Enterprise Architectures
OMB continues helping agencies align their efforts with the FEA Program, ensuring EAs across government are consistent in terms of language, structure, and general approach. We are also working with agencies to use EA information to identify areas for interagency collaboration. Toward this goal, OMB started the second-phase pilot of the Federal Enterprise Architecture Management System (FEAMS), a web-based tool allowing agencies access to government-wide architecture data organized around the FEA. FEAMS is ready for agencies to use in the FY06 budget process. For the first time ever, agencies can look across government and identify potential collaboration partners and shared technology components to utilize in developing their own plans for IT investments.
EA and Improved Program Performance
Agency enterprise-architecture data is now being used in IT. For instance, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is making substantial progress in eliminating redundant, non-integrated operations, systems, and processes for IT infrastructure and mission areas. DHS consolidated business cases submitted for the FY05 budget listed relevant systems for consolidation, reported plans for migration and elimination, and identified an integrated business process. The benefits of successfully implementing these efforts include improved capabilities to safeguard our nation, and taxpayer savings through the prevention of unnecessary investments.
Another example is Federal Student Aid (FSA), which manages a $321 billion loan portfolio within the Department of Education. FSA used the FEA to baseline its enterprise architecture program, which includes business process modeling; Capital Planning and Investment Control (CPIC); and IT infrastructure. FSAs EA program is enabling the consolidation of approximately 14 major stove-piped systems down to eight integrated systems.
At the Department of the Interior, the Recreation.gov E-Gov initiative is using the FEA reference models to collaborate with the Forest Service and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The end result is better delivery of recreation-related information and services to citizens.
EA Community of Practice
Collaboration among agency leaders in business operations and technology, including the Federal Chief Information Officers (CIO) Council and its Architecture and Infrastructure Committee (AIC), is serving to operationalize EA activities and the FEA. This is beginning to result in tangible improvements in strategic planning and IT portfolio management.
To support rapid improvement in agency EA practices, OMB supported the AIC in establishing the Chief Architects Forum (CAF) in April 2004. The forum assists Chief Architects by sharing EA best practices and addressing the challenges agencies they face in developing their EAs and in using architecture information for key decision-making processes. The Chief Architects meet quarterly and maintain an ongoing dialogue on best practices and key issues.
We are also strengthening our relationship with state and local governments through the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) and other organizations. These partnerships will increase the coordination and integration of intergovernmental IT resources.
Security and Privacy
One of our strongest areas of emphasis is on developing an FEA security and privacy profile an overlay to assist federal managers in discovering early-on where risk exposure exists, the potential range of controls needed to address such risk, and the potential costs of those controls. Using the FEA privacy and security profile as a reference in the development of agency EAs is fundamental to strong security and privacy. Since an EA helps to inventory agency systems and identify the dependencies and relationships among them, the need for security and privacy exists in virtually every agency program and within every EA layer, including data, business process, and technology. These needs can have a profound impact on process and system design and must be fully identified, understood, and integrated at the earliest stages of planning and development. The FEA Program is helping agencies to achieve this type of early integration, promoting efficient operations and preventing unintended consequences which may require costly corrections at the end of development.
The Administration will continue to collaborate with agencies and with Congress, state, local, and tribal governments to ensure the promise of enterprise architecture is fully realized across government. The FEA Program and agency EA programs are starting to achieve strong results. Through technical development, outreach, information sharing and analysis, the FEA Program will continue to focus on improving program performance throughout government to deliver services and produce results for the citizens. I look forward to working with you on these matters.