Administration proposes three new Lines of Business for 2007

|Originally posted at 10:17 a.m. and updated at 1:11 p.m.|

Under President Bush's fiscal 2007 budget request submitted to Congress today, agencies would receive an IT budget of $64.2 billion'a 3 percent increase over fiscal 2006.

While the 2006 request was more than $65 billion, the increase for next year would be based on the total dollars Congress enacted for IT in 2006'$62.5 billion, according to budget documents.

The IT budget increase is part of Bush's overall $2.7 trillion proposal that holds discretionary spending to $870.7 billion, which is a 3.2 percent increase over 2006.

In the budget, the administration said it will launch three new Lines of Business consolidation initiatives for IT infrastructure, budget formulation and geospatial investments.

The IT Infrastructure LOB would focus on consolidation opportunities by defining common specific performance measures for services levels and costs, identifying best practices and developing guidelines for transition plans within or across agencies for activities such as Internet Protocol Version 6.

OMB estimates that agencies could save as much as $29 billion over 10 years by consolidating infrastructure such as help desks, data centers and telecommunications.

Under a Geospatial LOB, the task force will look to identify opportunities to consolidate investments; analyze cost benefits, alternatives and risks; and define roles, responsibilities, performance measures and milestones.

The Budgeting LOB task force will identify opportunities for common automated tools to enhance agency and central processes, including promoting integration and standardization of information exchange, institutionalize budget and performance integration to align programs with their outcomes, and provide agencies with enhanced capabilities to analyze budget performance and financial information.

New Grants LOB Centers of Excellence

The Office of Management and Budget, as expected, named three Grants LOB Centers of Excellence'the Education and Health and Human Services departments, and the National Science Foundation. OMB expects the Grants COEs to help save more than $2.4 billion between 2008 and 2015.

'The target operating model states the grants management community will process grants in a decentralized way using common business processes supported by shared technical support services,' the document said. 'This year, the consortia will develop the infrastructure and capabilities necessary to cross-service other agencies, including fee-for-service models with performance metrics.'

Under the Cybersecurity LOB, which was launched last winter, OMB expects to select shared-services providers for training and reporting, while holding off on incident response and product evaluation centers. OMB's task force last fall had recommended going forward in four areas of LOB with centers of excellence.

The president also requested $5.5 billion for health IT, which is a $100 million increase over 2006.

'The administration will focus on the areas of standards implementation, additional standards development and harmonization, alignment of agency investments and increased interoperability,' the budget said.

The number of projects on the management watch list also decreased for the second straight year. OMB reported 263 projects, worth $9.9 billion, are at risk for not implementing security and earned-value management, or establishing performance measures. OMB said agencies fixed 84 percent of the 342 major projects identified in the 2006 budget request on the management watch list'leaving only 19 business cases valued at $314.5 million.

In all, 21 of 27 agencies would see an IT budget increase. Some agencies, such as the National Archives and Records Administration, would receive only a $1 million increase, to $50 million. Other agencies are big winners, including the Homeland Security Department, which stands to get a $772 million, 21 percent increase to $4.4 billion, up from $3.6 billion last year.

Some other big winners in the request include the:
  • Agriculture Department, 6 percent increase to 2.1 billion from 2.0 billion

  • Commerce Department, 7 percent increase to $1.6 billion from $1.5 billion

  • HHS, 4.7 percent increase to $5.4 billion from $5.2 billion

  • Housing and Urban Development Department, 15.5 percent increase to $298 million from $258 million

  • Interior Department, 8.9 percent increase to $1.1 from $1 billion

  • Labor Department, 13.2 percent increase to $515 million from $455 million

  • State Department 5.3 percent increase to $890 million from $845 million.

A handful of agencies also saw their IT budget requests decrease:
  • Education Department, 1 percent decrease to $403 million from $407 million

  • Treasury Department, less than 1 percent decrease to $2.3 billion from $2.4 billion

  • General Services Administration, 1.9 percent decrease to $546 million from $557 million

  • Office of Personnel Management, 4.6 percent decrease to $186 million from $195 million.

In addition to budget numbers, OMB released the agency progress report on meeting administration goals for managing IT projects and developing business cases.

HUD led federal agencies both in having single-digit IT project cost and schedule overruns, and all of its business cases accepted.

In documents accompanying the fiscal 2007 budget, OMB also rated agencies' major IT project investments detailed in their business cases.

Several agencies are seeing the effects of earned-value management and other techniques that foster better management of cost, schedule and performance for IT projects. Besides HUD, the Labor, State and Transportation departments and the Environmental Protection Agency also demonstrated they had less than 10 percent cost and schedule overruns in their IT projects.

However, the Homeland Security and the Veterans Affairs departments each had more 30 percent in cost and schedule overruns, and less than half of their business cases were accepted. Agriculture also had fewer than 50 percent of its business cases accepted.

OMB accepted most of the business cases of most agencies based on effective schedule, cost and security management. In addition to HUD, the Commerce, Interior, Justice and State departments had 100 percent of their business cases accepted.

GCN staff writer Mary Mosquera contributed to this story.

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