Testimony of Karen Evans




October 8, 2003

Good 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 Administration’s Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) efforts as well as address OMB’s role in assisting the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with their EA work.

Federal Enterprise Architecture – Update and Next Steps

The 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:

  • Identify opportunities to leverage technology and alleviate redundancy, or to highlight where agency overlap limits the value of IT investments;
  • Facilitate horizontal (cross-Federal) and vertical (Federal, State and Local) integration of IT resources;
  • Establish a clear view of IT support to mission and program performance; and
  • Support a more citizen-centered, customer-focused government that maximizes IT investments to better achieve mission outcomes, while eliminating duplicative and wasteful investments.

The development of individual agency EAs is critical to the success of the FEA. Each agency’s EA will describe how they meet their missions through the use of people, business processes, data, and technology. Both agency EA efforts and their IT budget documents directly inform and help to build the FEA. In turn the FEA, as described in OMB guidance, serves as a framework for agencies to align their performance, business, data, application, and technology layers to the FEA. The work of the Federal Chief Information Officers Council’s Architecture and Infrastructure Committee is instrumental in linking agency EA’s and the FEA. This is the key linkage to allow comparisons across agency, and even governmental, boundaries to identify sharing, collaboration and consolidation opportunities.

The FEA framework addresses five important areas of enterprise architecture, tying together the business, performance, service, technology, and data layers.

  • Through the Business Reference Model (BRM) we identify the Federal government’s business operations and the agencies that perform them. This information helps to identify potentially redundant IT investments in the Federal government’s business lines, ultimately resulting in cost savings and productivity growth. Version 2.0 of the model was released on June 12 of this year and was required for use by all agencies in the FY 2005 budget formulation process.
  • The Performance Reference Model (PRM) is a framework that agencies will use to link IT investments to mission performance measures. The model allows OMB and agencies to identify common measurements by business line and set baselines and targets. This allows effective comparisons of the relative performance of like investments. The PRM was released on September 17 of this year, but a final draft was available in June for agencies use in the FY 2005 budget formulation process.
  • The Service Component Reference Model (SRM) provides the foundation for the re-use and sharing of IT components across Federal agencies, and potentially across Federal, state and local governments. The SRM was released on June 12 of this year for use by agencies in the FY 2005 budget formulation process.
  • The Technical Reference Model (TRM) provides a set of technology standards and specifications that support the assembly and use of service components. The TRM will facilitate the transition to e-government by supporting interoperability and standardization across Federal agency systems. This will encourage the sharing of infrastructures across agencies and levels of government. The TRM was released on June 12 of this year for agencies use in the FY 2005 budget formulation process.
  • The Data and Information Reference Model (DRM) will provide a consistent framework to characterize and describe the data that supports Federal business lines. This will promote interoperability, as well as the sharing of information across Federal agencies and with state and local governments. OMB is working collaboratively with a small group of interested Federal agencies to define and validate the model, and a draft will be released soon for agency review and comment.

Enterprise Architecture and Homeland Security

While 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 that are prevalent in government today. There would be rational prioritization of projects necessary to fund homeland security missions based on an overall assessment of requirements rather than a tendency to fund all good ideas beneficial to a separate unit's individual needs even if similar systems are already in place elsewhere.”

The merging of twenty-two previously separate agencies has resulted in DHS inheriting a number of redundant and overlapping IT systems and processes, nearly all designed to address individual programs. Throughout the FY 2005 budget process, OMB will work with the Department to eliminate redundant and non-integrated operations, systems, and processes for IT infrastructure and mission areas. Through consolidated business cases, the relevant systems for consolidation will be listed, plans for migration and elimination will be reported, and an integrated business process identified. IT investments that support homeland security missions must be appropriately integrated in order to leverage technology for mission effectiveness while preventing redundant investments and wasted resources. DHS’ current state and target architectures as well as their transition strategy to move from their current state to their target architecture are indispensable to achieving these real results.

However, to be an effective tool, the EA has to reflect organizational decisions made by the Department’s leadership and be owned and used by the entire Department in making all resource decisions. Tough but necessary investment decisions must be made on which systems and processes remain, which will be consolidated, and which are eliminated. This serves to underscore the point that the EA is not and should not be simply viewed as an IT exercise. Information technology is not the driver; it is the enabler to assist the Department in meeting its missions.

The benefits to our nation will of successful implementation of these efforts are significant and far-reaching. For example, more efficient information sharing between all levels of government and law-enforcement will result in improved capabilities to safeguard our nation at our borders and points of entry. Additionally, through the use of the FEA and DHS’ use of their EA, we will be able to prevent unnecessary and wasteful investments, saving taxpayer dollars.


Additional Government-wide Efforts to Improve Homeland Security

As 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 President’s E-Government initiatives related to homeland security will overcome information sharing difficulties between Federal, state, and local organizations and first responders.

Two of the President’s 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 manager’s 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 Oversight

In 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 Department’s recently completed EA.

Additionally, through the President’s Management Agenda, under the Expanding Electronic Government Scorecard, OMB will assess on a quarterly basis, the Department’s progress in their EA development and implementation.


The 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 President’s 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 Department’s 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 government’s management of all of its IT resources, including those related to homeland security.