Bush brass will seek separate funding for architecture work

'Our intention is not to have to pass the hat like we did for the business reference model.'

'OMB's Norman Lorentz

Henrik G. DeGyor

Administration's 2005 budget request will include new line item

HERSHEY, Pa.'The Office of Management and Budget no longer wants to depend on the CIO Council's money for its federal architecture work.

Starting in fiscal 2005, OMB plans to create a centralized budget for projects such as the federal enterprise architecture, said Norman Lorentz, OMB's chief technology officer. OMB will request a budget line item in the president's 2005 submission, he said in a discussion earlier this month at the Interagency Resources Management Conference.

The new centralized fund would be separate from the president's $100 million e-government fund, he added.

Obtaining funding has been one of the biggest challenges for much of OMB's e-government work. Lorentz said OMB used some of the CIO Council's $6 million budget, made up mostly from agency contributions, to develop the business reference model and other reference models for the federal enterprise architecture.

But the pass-the-hat method is one of the least-liked ways to fund projects, and the President's Management Council has made it clear that it doesn't want this approach to continue, said Mark Forman, OMB's associate director for IT and e-government.

'Our intention is not to have to pass the hat like we did for the business reference model,' Lorentz said.

He added that Mark Everson, OMB's deputy director for management, intends to establish the models as items in the federal budget.

Uncertain costs

'We are not exactly sure where yet,' he said, 'but we want to avoid passing the hat because it takes so much time and effort to get done.'

Lorentz said he did not know the cost of the architecture work so far. OMB will have a better idea of how much was spent after the fiscal year ends this month, he said.

Although a budget line item will help move the architecture effort forward, OMB still needs to make sure agencies understand the value of using the reference models, said Bob Haycock, OMB's chief architect.

Agencies need to incorporate the federal architecture into their strategic plans, he said. As OMB furthers the models, Haycock said, agencies need to rely on the architecture and models to make investment decisions.

'When you get down into the architecture layer to make decisions, it has to be embedded in the way an agency does its work,' Haycock said. 'It has to be staffed, structured and have funding. It has to be a part of the decision-making.'

Outcomes and metrics

Haycock's team plans to release the second model of the architecture, the performance reference model, by November. It will include outcomes and metrics that agencies can use to measure performance against best business practices.

OMB in July released a business reference model that outlines the government's lines of business, or missions, and the subfunctions within those lines.

'You can't have a business reference model without the performance piece,' Haycock said. 'That really is the business layer of the enterprise architecture'those two pieces together. Once you know your common outcomes, then you can begin to drive down through the business layer and performance layer to the technology layer. Then you start to see the patterns line up with those performance outcomes. Then you will start to see the technology needed to pull it all together.'

Haycock said the performance model and other layers will require the development of standards. Agencies must determine who is accountable for shared systems, he said, adding that such issues need to be addressed in the next six to 12 months.

The first versions of other reference models'data and information, application and capabilities, and technology and standards layers'will likely be done by year's end so agencies can use them to develop their fiscal 2005 budget requests, Haycock said.

'OMB will look for how agency investments line up with the federal enterprise architecture,' he said.

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