Guide for information technology architecture released to agencies

The Office of Management and Budget has issued guidelines that describe how agencies can comply with Clinger-Cohen Act provisions that demand computer systems be tied to a coherent information technology architecture.

The June 18 memo from OMB director Franklin Raines elaborates on the set of questions dubbed "Raines' rules " that agencies must answer to get money for their systems. When the rules were issued last fall agency managers said OMB needed to define what was meant by an IT architecture.

According to the memo an IT architecture should document the relationships among agency business processes and the information systems that support them. An architecture should have two elements: an "enterprise architecture " which describes existing and target systems and "technical reference model and standards profiles " which describe the specific technologies each agency uses and the technical specifications to which they conform.

The memo provides as potential models a summary of architecture documents from the Agriculture Defense Energy and Treasury departments."You can't just immediately adopt an architecture " said Ann Thomson Reed chief information officer with the USDA. "It takes a lot of work over a sustained period of time." Nevertheless she said the OMB memo "is an important starting point."

Agencies will apply the guidelines to fiscal 1999 budget submissions which agencies now are readying and that are due to OMB this fall. Reed said she expects budget examiners "are going to be looking to see whether we have made a credible start."

OMB officials could not be reached for comment. A copy of the memo is available from the Chief Information Officers Council Web site at www.cio.fed.gov/arch_pap.htm.

Featured

  • IT Modernization
    Eisenhower Executive Office Building (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

    OMB's user guide to the MGT Act

    The Office of Management and Budget is working on a rules-of-the-road document to cover how agencies can seek and use funds under the MGT Act.

  • global network (Pushish Images/Shutterstock.com)

    As others see us -- a few surprises

    A recent dinner with civil servants from Asia delivered some interesting insights, Steve Kelman writes.

  • FCW Perspectives
    cloud (Singkham/Shutterstock.com)

    A smarter approach to cloud

    Advances in cloud technology are shifting the focus toward choosing the right tool for the job and crafting solutions that truly modernize systems.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.