IG says Energy Department lags in EA development

IG says Energy Department lags in EA development

The Energy Department continues to struggle in implementing an enterprise architecture, despite spending $14 million and 10 years addressing the issue, according to a report issued last month by the department's inspector general.

The audit report, 'Development and Implementation of the Department's Enterprise Architecture,' released April 21, also estimates that 'the lack of such an architecture contributed to more than $155 million in lost opportunities for information technology-related savings.'

According to the IG, DOE has not defined its current or future IT requirements, including desired applications and hardware needs. Nor has it set detailed requirements for elements of the architecture, such as its intended network and communication infrastructure.

Deeper in the organization, architecture development in program offices has not been integrated with the departmentwide effort. The 'lack of common elements in program architectures, such as complete system inventories and planned future information technology requirements, made it difficult to identify and eliminate duplicative investments,' the report found.

The Office of the CIO, headed by Rosita Parkes, provided guidance documents and established an EA working group. But the IG found that the guidance 'has generally not been mandatory, did not contain information regarding standardization of all information technology systems at field sites and contractors, and was not formally released. As a result, the programs are not required to follow the standards ' when they develop their future technology requirements.'

In the course of the audit, 'an official in the Office of the CIO recently told us that a complete project plan did not exist for the ongoing development of the Department's architecture,' the report stated.

Management at DOE accepted some of the IG's findings but disagreed with some of the conclusions the watchdog office drew. The report responded, 'Contrary to the impressions given by management's comments, our audit disclosed that a complete and approved enterprise architecture does not exist and is not being implemented across the complex.'

The IG pointed out that the lack of an EA plan was one of the contributing factors to DOE's failure to earn a 'green' on the President's Management Agenda scorecard at the end of 2004.

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