E-gov scores fall into the red

Four agencies have fallen behind in how they use their enterprise architectures, according to the latest e-government scores on the President's Management Agenda (PMA) scorecard.

The Smithsonian Institution's overall score plunged the farthest, falling from green to red in the quarterly report on agency progress in meeting the five areas of the PMA. Along with the Smithsonian, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Office of Personnel Management and the Small Business Administration earned red scores.

Deficiencies in how the agencies use their enterprise architectures to maximize efficiency were primarily responsible for the downgrades, according to OMB.

'Agencies were assessed based on their use of the enterprise architectures to maximize efficiency of cross-agency initiatives, implement [Internet Protocol] Version 6, realize efficiencies and improve program performance,' said OMB Deputy Director for Management Clay Johnson in a news release.

OMB released the latest report card today, on which only two agencies'the Labor and State departments'earned a perfect five green scores.

Overall, OMB awarded 64 green, 37 yellow and 29 red scores, which is a 15 percent increase in the number of green scores since last quarter's report card, White House officials said.

Each quarter, the administration gives agencies green, yellow or red scores for their efforts to meet the five PMA goals ' human capital, competitive sourcing, financial performance, e-government, and budget and performance integration.

A green score means an agency has met all the standards for success, yellow means it has met some but not all and red means there are serious problems. OMB grades each agency on its overall status and on its progress toward implementing the agenda items.

'Federal agencies have significantly greater ability to be effective today than they did in 2001 when they began working on the PMA,' Johnson said. 'But having the ability to be effective is not enough. Those scores translate into real results, and agencies must demonstrate that what they are doing is making government more effective.'

Agencies are finding the most success in the human capital category, as departments have earned 16 green and 10 yellow scores. Under budget and performance integration, agencies also are achieving higher scores with 16 greens, nine yellows and one red mark.

Under e-government, agencies earned eight reds, 12 yellows and six green scores. Johnson said the four agencies whose grades dropped were not using their enterprise architectures properly, but did not offer specifics.

The Homeland Security and Health and Human Services departments improved their e-government grades from red to yellow during the last quarter. DHS now has three yellow and two red scores after having all red scores for much of the past three years.

Karen Evans, OMB's administrator for e-government and information technology, said in a letter accompanying the scorecard that her office will share the Federal Enterprise Architecture Program Management Office's assessments of agency blueprints later this month.

'The feedback provided by OMB is to be used by the agencies to further improve their EA practice and thereby better inform their IT investment decisions for the fiscal 2009 budget cycle,' she said in the letter.

Evans also said the governmentwide average for system security controls that agencies tested increased to 83 percent from 78 percent since last quarter.

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