OPM boards aim to put policy and IT requirements on the same page

Office of Personnel Management officials are trying to direct traffic at the intersection of policy decisions and functional requirements.

Two interagency boards created by OPM are designed to coordinate strategic decisions and system needs to make sure the Human Resources Line of Business consolidation effort runs smoothly.

'Sometimes policy decisions prioritize demands on the system, and no one takes the responsibility to understand the impact on the system,' said John Martin, OPM's special counselor for presidential initiatives and e-government. 'The interagency boards will ensure policy and system people work together.'

One of the boards, the Executive Strategy Committee, is a permanent governance organization for the Human Resources LOB. It will meet on a quarterly basis and break up into subgroups to study specific HR topics.

The committee also will set the minimum service level agreements that the HR Centers of Excellence will have to meet to serve agencies, Martin said.

The other, the Requirements Board, will translate policy into high-level functional system needs that the Strategy Committee's subgroups then will use to develop business and technical requirements.

Martin said OPM and other Strategy Committee members have been evaluating the proposals of the five projected HR Centers of Excellence'the Agriculture Department's National Finance Center, the Interior Department's National Business Center, and the Defense, Health and Human Services, and Treasury departments.

The board expects to finish the evaluations in June. OPM and the Strategy Committee then will make the final recommendation to the Office of Management and Budget on which agencies will become Centers of Excellence.

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