OMB seeks new e-government ideas

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Bush administration officials expect vendors to present their best solutions to improve

efficiency and business performance in three common lines of business.

At an industry day event last week in Washington, D.C., officials presented their visions for common e-government solutions in the financial management, grants management and human relations business lines. The administration is leaving details of the solutions up to the vendors.

"We need your innovative thoughts," said John Sindelar, director of the lines of business initiatives and the General Services Administration's deputy associate administrator for governmentwide policy. "This is a real opportunity to make the kind of changes we need to make."

A request for information on a solution for each of the business lines was released last week. Vendors have until May 17 to submit ideas. Two other lines of business — case management and federal health architecture — were not included in the RFI.

Officials are looking for a broad solution, which could be a complete set of systems, rather than single systems for each business area, said Rosa Parkes, chief information officer at the Energy Department. Vendors are expected to come up with a target architecture, identifying systems, best practices and migration strategies.

"We need to have an architecture that works with our line of business but also with the other lines of business, and it has to interface with the other e-government initiatives," Parkes said.

Norm Enger, e-government project director at the Office of Personnel Management, echoed the need for an overall solution. "We're not talking about one system," he said. "We're talking about solutions that lead us to the vision. Whatever this vision is, it has to fit in with the federal enterprise architecture."

Enger advised vendors to examine the 24 e-government initiatives. Although the first phase of initiatives adhered to the status quo, focusing on consolidation and what he called point solutions, this phase of e-government is moving toward transformation, Enger said.

"We're looking for things that really are innovative and transformational that make a dramatic improvement in how we operate in these lines of business," he said.

Another major difference between this wave and the initial e-government projects is that these projects will be incorporated into agencies' business cases in the fiscal 2006 budget process, Sindelar said.

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