OMB poring over watch list, IT workforce data

The Office of Management and Budget is poring over data collected this summer to ensure that high-risk IT projects are on track and agencies are taking stock of their IT human capital skill gaps.

Karen Evans, OMB's administrator for e-government and IT, said results from these data collections will be unveiled in the administration's fiscal 2007 budget, which will be released in February 2006.

'We are really going now to the next level and looking at how the IT investment supports outcomes,' Evans said. 'How are they supporting the results we want to achieve on those programs?'

Agencies submitted data on their high-risk IT projects in mid-September. The information OMB requested will help it to monitor agencies' corrective activities and focus on projects requiring quarterly reporting as part of the President's Management Agenda scorecard.

'The long-term goal of all this is to get the actual data in so where you said you were going to gain efficiencies, where you said you were going to save, where you said you were going to avoid costs because of the way this program was moving forward, we can really to track that now,' Evans said yesterday during the Government Electronics and IT Association Vision 2005 Conference in Falls Church, Va.

OMB also is tracking the IT workforce and going over data submitted in late August by agencies on their employees' current skill sets and their future needs, according to Evans. Working in concert with the CIO Council, Evans said OMB will detail agency IT hiring and training needs in the budget submission.

Evans also said the agency is expecting some significant developments by the end of the year with its financial management Line of Business Consolidation initiative and urged industry'not which has not embraced the concept'to change its mind-set.

'We're looking at ourselves as one enterprise,' Evans said. 'You should look at us as one enterprise. Our businesses aren't necessarily around each of the departments; each of the departments does multiple types of business.'

Evans said OMB in December will release guidelines on how the private sector can compete in the Financial Management Line of Business. She said OMB expects three major agencies to migrate to a financial management Center of Excellence in 2006.

The guidelines, according to Evans, are geared toward agencies that were not selected as a Center of Excellence and will provide recommendations for those agencies on how to conduct a competition for financial management services with both private and public entities.

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