Infrastructure systems, cybersecurity could be next in line for consolidation

The Office of Management and Budget plans to delve deep into whether agencies can standardize cybersecurity processes and whether there are ways to reduce the amount of money agencies spend on infrastructure over the next nine months.

OMB officials estimated that agencies spend more than $4 billion on IT security processes, and just under $11 billion on office automation, infrastructure and telecommunications systems, according to analyses of the fiscal 2006 IT business cases through the Federal Enterprise Architecture.

'We think office automation is ripe to look at the Technical Reference Model and analyze the consolidated business case each agency completed for these investments,' said an OMB official, who requested anonymity. 'By the end of the fiscal year, we expect to determine the areas for platform consolidation or more favorable [enterprisewide software] buys with some of the major infrastructure vendors, and issue subsequent policy. We will do an analysis based on the plan each agency developed and see if there is sufficient need to call together a task force.'

For the cybersecurity Line of Business, OMB and the Homeland Security Department will lead the effort to analyze the possibility of consolidating administrative functions, said another OMB official, who also requested anonymity.

Karen Evans, OMB administrator for e-government and IT, added the task force will focus on federal cybersecurity assets and how they are documented.

Early estimates said agencies spend about 40 percent of their IT security budget on common procedures.

'We want to see if we can improve performance and save a significant amount of money,' the official said.

Evans said the end result might not be a common system or shared-service provider, such as the financial management and human resource management initiatives, but could be a standardization of processes.

OMB also will use the FEA to link the Performance Reference Model with the Performance Assessment Ratings Tool. The White House has been rating 20 percent of all federal programs every year for the last three years and to measure results. The goal of linking PART to the PRM is to connect the scores to the performance metrics of the IT programs.

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