OMB to industry: Give us your successes, failures, but keep the brochures

OMB to industry: Give us your successes, failures, but keep the brochures

When vendors send the Office of Management and Budget information about how best to consolidate and standardize IT security, they shouldn't send promotional materials.

In fact, John Sindelar, OMB's Line of Business Consolidation initiatives program executive, said today that brochures should be a part of the appendix, not part of the answers to the questions in the request for information that the General Services Administration released earlier this month [See GCN coverage].

'We are not looking for vendors to sell us something, but want their successes and failures when standardizing certain IT security functions,' Sindelar said during a Cybersecurity LOB industry day in Washington. 'Different solutions will come from the business case we are putting together, and we will consider everything from outsourcing to centers of excellence to whatever works best.'

The Cybersecurity LOB task force will develop one or more business cases and send them to agencies for review. Then the group will submit the recommendations to OMB by Sept. 1, in time for the fiscal 2007 budget request.

Part of the LOB work is figuring out how much agencies are spending now on the five functions'program management; security considerations in the information systems lifecycle; situational awareness and incident response capability; training and knowledge sharing; and selection, evaluation and implementation of security hardware, software and services. OMB asked agencies for estimates on these costs to set the baseline for potential savings, Sindelar said.

'We want to create a gap analysis,' Sindelar said. 'The task force then will look for ways to close the gaps through common solutions.'

Glenn Schlarman, OMB's chief of the Information Policy Branch in the Office
of Information and Regulatory Affairs, said his office estimates that agencies are spending about $2 billion on common processes.

'If we can consolidate or make the processes more economical, we can save money or gain some cost avoidance,' Schlarman said.

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