Testimony of Karen Evans
COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM
October 8, 2003Good morning, Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Clay, and Members of the Committee. It is a pleasure to be here during my first week as the new Administrator of the Office of Electronic Government and Information Technology at the Office of Management and Budget. Thank you for the opportunity to discuss with the Committee the steps the Administration has undertaken and will continue to take to improve Federal IT management, particularly as it relates to our homeland security mission. My remarks will provide an update on both the Administrations Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) efforts as well as address OMBs role in assisting the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with their EA work.
Federal Enterprise Architecture Update and Next StepsThe development and implementation of the FEA is a key step toward achieving significant government-wide improvement in the management of Federal IT resources. The purpose of the FEA is to identify opportunities to simplify processes and unify work across Federal agencies and within the lines of business of the government. It is a business-focused framework developed for Federal agencies, OMB, and the Congress to use in improving the performance of government through improved coordination and wiser investments. Specifically, the FEA will enable the Federal government to:
Enterprise Architecture and Homeland SecurityWhile it is essential for each agency to develop and implement an EA, no where is this more critical than for the Department of Homeland Security. Achieving effective homeland security will require IT investments that both guarantee real-time information sharing, to improve response time and decision-making. To meet these goals and assist in overcoming information sharing barriers, we require wise IT investments that support homeland security missions, enhance productivity, and improve information sharing while ensuring security and privacy. In his proposal for creating the Department over a year ago the President highlighted the use of EA techniques to improve both the sharing and use of information. The President stated that the development of a single enterprise architecture for the department would result in elimination of the sub-optimized, duplicative, and poorly coordinated systems
Additional Government-wide Efforts to Improve Homeland SecurityAs you know, the Administration has been aggressively working over the last two years in the development and implementation of twenty-four government-wide Presidential E-Government initiatives. Implementation of the Presidents E-Government initiatives related to homeland security will overcome information sharing difficulties between Federal, state, and local organizations and first responders. Two of the Presidents initiatives, Project Safecom, and Disaster Management, directly support and promote improving information sharing between Federal, state, and local first responders. The goal of Project Safecom is to provide interoperable wireless options for Federal, state and local public safety organizations and ensure they can communicate and share information as they respond to emergency incidents. Disaster Management provides Federal, state and local emergency managers online access to disaster management-related information, planning and response tools. Both of these initiatives strongly support vertical (i.e. intergovernmental) integration necessary to meet homeland security goals. Because these two initiatives clearly support homeland security missions and activities within the Department of Homeland Security, OMB placed it as the managing partner for the initiatives. As managing partner, DHS is responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the business cases for these initiatives, submitting the business cases, and ensuring the management of the projects to achieve the cost, schedule and performance goals for the implementation and operations phases.
OMB Assistance and OversightIn addition to continuing our efforts in the development and implementation of the FEA, OMB will also continue to work with DHS on their efforts to execute a comprehensive EA that optimizes the existing investments inherited from the legacy agencies, and eliminates redundant investments. Specifically, OMB will monitor, assess, and enforce IT management policies and requirements through both budget and management processes. Through the budget process, OMB will assess all DHS major IT investments, with a strong focus on planned integration and consolidation of overlapping systems. OMB will also review the Departments recently completed EA. Additionally, through the Presidents Management Agenda, under the Expanding Electronic Government Scorecard, OMB will assess on a quarterly basis, the Departments progress in their EA development and implementation.
ConclusionThe Administration will continue to work collaboratively across Federal agencies, with Congress, State and local governments, and the private sector to strengthen information sharing in support of homeland security efforts. Both the FEA and DHS EA are vital tools necessary to improve the management and performance of our homeland security missions. While we recognize the significant challenges facing DHS in consolidating the cultural and resource legacies of twenty-two component agencies, we fully expect that DHS leadership will continue to build an integrated and interoperable structure, resulting in a business driven EA that reflects the Presidents vision of eliminating sub-optimized, duplicative, and poorly coordinated systems. To ensure we successfully meet this goal, OMB will work with DHS leadership, in particular with the Departments CIO who is responsible for leading DHS EA, to ensure that their EA efforts, their integration of business processes, and consolidation and elimination of redundant IT investments remains a top priority and is addressed in a timely manner. I look forward to working with the Committee on our shared goals of improving the Federal governments management of all of its IT resources, including those related to homeland security.