Records management, geospatial profiles on deck for the next inning of the FEA

7 practical ways to a better EA

Steps agencies can add to their enterprise architectures to align with business processes:

1 Strategic planning of what business owners need to accomplish

2 Performance targets that represent success

3 Investments that will support success

4 Budget constraints, which affect business realities, prioritize what to accomplish

5 Enterprise program management, which moves toward success, implementing standard business processes

6 Performance measures, which define targets and track against them in projects and programs

7 Process improvement, which makes tactical adjustments in projects and programs.

Source: John Teeter, HHS chief enterprise architect.

The Geological Survey's Eliot Christian says anything with a street address is geospatial data. Similarly, nearly every document could be a record whose lifecycle needs to be addressed.

Agency officials worried about records management are about to get some help from the Federal Enterprise Artchitecture. The draft of the FEA's records management profile is expected to be finalized in the next few weeks, giving agencies a framework for identifying records requirements within IT and business processes.

Officials hope the profile will provide concrete examples of how records management is built into the IT governance, capital planning and systems development lifecycle processes.

'The profile is a primer for the IT and records managers' communities, so there is enough for them to understand even if they are unfamiliar with each other's terminologies and processes,' said Laurence Brewer, project manager of the records management profile.

The CIO community also has submitted comments on identifying and describing geospatial data and capabilities across their architectures.

Lay of the land

Another working group, led by the Federal Geographic Data Committee, issued the first draft of the Geospatial Profile Version 0.1 for comment earlier this month.

'The profile will support various initiatives using geospatial data in the federal, state and local governments,' said Eliot Christian, a data and information systems manager at the Geological Survey, and a member of the task force developing the framework.

The profiles are the second and third cross-cutting frameworks for the FEA. Last year, a task force developed a security and privacy profile to show how these functions cut across all lines of business in government.

Records management and geo- spatial programs have the same wide-ranging reach, officials said, explaining why the CIO Council developed profiles instead of separate reference models.

Christian said anything with a street address is geospatial data. Similarly, nearly every document an agency creates could be a record with a lifecycle that needs to be addressed.

The CIO community and the Office of Management and Budget reviewed the 77-page records management draft, and now the records management profile task force'led by the National Archives and Records Administration'is reviewing comments before releasing a public draft this fall.

Brewer offered a glimpse into the upcoming draft at the E-Gov Institute's 5th annual Enterprise Architecture Conference in Washington. 'We planned for this to be only a 20 percent solution, but we wanted to get a good start,' Brewer said. 'There is a lot more content to build into the document in later versions.'

The draft version, Brewer said, defines what a record is and how to embed records management best practices into agency business practices using the Federal Enterprise Architecture as a guide.

The framework also shows how records management overlays the FEA's five reference models'Business, Service, Technical, Performance and Data. For instance, in the Business Reference Model, Brewer said, records management is a part of policy and procedures, while for the Performance Reference Model, it is a part of how agencies document results and metrics.

According to a July draft of the profile obtained by GCN, 'the records management function exists within two separate lines of business of the BRM.' This includes the support of the services business area with the subfunction of central records and statistics management, and the man- agement of the government re- sources line of business with record retention subfunction.

'NARA, OMB and the Federal CIO Council believe that the BRM can be improved to adequately capture the full lifecycle of records management activities,' the draft said. 'Records retention is but one of many records activities that agencies perform. OMB and the Federal CIO Council will work to ensure that Version 3.0 of the BRM accurately reflects the full range of records activities in which agencies engage'records creation, receipt, maintenance, use, and disposition.'

Brewer said the draft would include how to use the profile, in- cluding information on integrating records management into the development lifecycle and the capital planning process.

On the records

Reynolds Cahoon, NARA CIO and co-chairman of the CIO Council's Architecture and Infrastructure Committee, said the task force also determined the need for six records management service components to be developed by industry:
  • Capture records

  • Assign records disposition

  • Categorize records

  • Ensure records remain authentic

  • Keep records in context with other records

  • Execute disposition of records.

Meanwhile, the 160-page geo- spatial profile is divided into just two chapters, but with 16 subchapters and nine appendices.

Christian said Chapter 1 covers the basics of geospatial data, including policy drivers, defining what geospatial information is and how it is used, and the role of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure.

In Chapter 2, the profile breaks down how geospatial data interacts with the FEA's five reference models. For instance, the draft says the geospatial view of the service component reference model classifies and recommends reusable geospatial building blocks, and provides guidance for use and alignment with existing federal policies and regulations.

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