E-gov foundation gives agencies opportunity to do more, Evans says

Karen Evans stood before a packed luncheon audience yesterday and asked a simple question, 'What would you like to do?'

The way the Office of Management and Budget's administrator for E-government and IT sees it, agencies now have the foundation to make technology work for them in ways that couldn't have been imagined four years ago.

'All the things we have done over the last four years lets you answer that question,' Evans said at a luncheon in Washington, sponsored by the Association for Federal Information Resources Managers. 'Whether it is Internet Protocol Version 6 or radio frequency identification tags or using geospatial data, it all can be done now because of the tools that are out there.'

Evans pointed to OMB's requirement for agencies to move to IPv6 as an example.

'Some agencies could just look at this as having to update their Technical Reference Model,' she said. 'But to get to the next level of e-government, you need to pull out all the reference models and figure out how IPv6 affects your agency's business lines, performance measures and data across the entire enterprise architecture.'

Along with asking agencies what they want to do with the technology foundation the government has been putting in place over the last five years, OMB developed an internal set of goals, Evans said.

OMB hopes to work with at least three major agencies to migrate to a Center of Excellence under the Financial Management Line of Business Consolidation initiative. Evans said there also is a similar goal for the Human Resources LOB effort, but she could not recall the exact number of agencies.

'Under Financial Management, small agencies started moving, but we need the major agencies to see whether this is a part of their core mission or whether they can spend money on a shared service provider to get the data they need,' she said.

Part of moving three major departments to a Center of Excellence is letting the private sector compete. Evans said that, for starters, the private sector should use the due diligence checklist the LOB task force developed. OMB also is working on procurement language to deal with the cost of transition from one Center of Excellence to another when an agency's needs are not being met.

'We are considering making the service provider who is not meeting the agency's needs bear the cost,' Evans said. 'We need clear language in the service-level agreements so providers and agency customers know what is expected of them.'

OMB's Federal Enterprise Architecture Program Management Office also is connecting the Performance Reference Model to the Performance Assessment Rating Tool that the administration uses to evaluate each program.

Evans said there also is an OMB task force looking into whether the CIO office should undergo the PART process.

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