EPA forges an enterprise architecture

Who's in charge

Kim Nelson

CIO and Assistant Administrator for the Office of Environmental Information

Ramona Trovato

Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator, OEI

Rick Otis

Deputy Assistant Administrator, OEI

Debra Stouffer

Chief Technology Officer

Top contractors

(january 2001 to december 2001, in millions)

Lockheed Martin Corp.


Science Applications International Corp.




Computer Based Systems Inc.


SRA International Inc.


Tetra Tech EM Inc.


Marasco Newton Group Ltd.


Eastern Research Group Inc.


Techlaw Inc.


STG Inc.




Sources for Inside EPA include EPA and Input of Chantilly, Va.

'What is happening is that it is all coming together,' said Debra Stouffer, EPA's chief technology officer. 'Last year we had an incomplete architecture. This year we have a draft target architecture for all domains.'

Henrik G. DeGyor

The Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to clean up the environment will go much more efficiently when the agency has cleaned up its management structure and policy, EPA officials have said.

That's why the Office of Environmental Information has refined the agency's enterprise architecture over the past year, and EPA executives are reviewing the core set of architectural principles.

In April 2001, EPA submitted version 0.8 of its enterprise architecture to the Office of Management and Budget. Now, officials are reviewing version 1.0 of the plan, have appointed John Sullivan of OEI as the chief architect, and have formed a core enterprise architecture team within the office.

'What is happening is that it is all coming together,' said Debra Stouffer, EPA's chief technology officer. 'Last year we had an incomplete architecture. This year we have a draft target architecture for all domains.'

According to EPA's enterprise architecture, the agency is organizing itself into three primary business areas:
  • Environmental and health protection, to support regulatory and voluntary programs aimed at improving human health and the environment

  • R&D, to create and support investigations of pollution prevention and control methods

  • Administration, aimed at helping the agency operate effectively by supporting internal operations and infrastructure.

In addition to the domains, EPA's plan includes a geospatial architecture to reflect the agency's work with the National Spatial Data Infrastructure and a security domain.

Desktop links

To implement the enterprise architecture, EPA has purchased a modeling tool called Metis from Computas of Lysaker, Norway. The software will provide links among the agency's goals, performance measures and other enterprise architecture components. The agency plans to make it available from every desktop PC at EPA.

'In all its layers, the enterprise architecture provides a strategic framework and knowledge base to help make decisions on how information technology can work,' Stouffer said.
Stouffer's contribution to EPA's technology development will come as the chief strategist on technology issues, she said.

'I am charged to stay abreast of emerging technologies and leverage technologies for positive business outcomes,' she said. 'I will also be briefing EPA staff on new technologies.'

As part of the enterprise architecture strategy, Stouffer will identify opportunities to work with other agencies to reduce duplication and improve service to the public, she said.

As the enterprise architecture model matures, Stouffer plans to spearhead the creation of solution architecture working groups within the agency. These groups will bring together EPA officials and contractor staff 'to make sure that our solutions work is aligned with the enterprise architecture,' she said. Stouffer plans to begin forming the working groups within a month.

'The enterprise architecture provides you with the strategic knowledge base that is critical to furthering the mission of the agency,' Stouffer said.

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