OMB clarifies e-gov guidance
- By Diane Frank
- Aug 07, 2000
The Office of Management and Budget has issued guidance designed to help
agency chief information officers achieve their electronic government goals.
An OMB memo issued late last month addresses how to implement the Government
Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA). Under GPEA, agencies must enable citizens
to interact with them electronically whenever possible by October 2003.
OMB first issued guidance on GPEA in April, when it asked each agency
to submit plans by Oct. 31, 2000. The new memo from John Spotila, director
of the OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, outlines the exact
information agencies must include and the goals they should address.
"This was really an effort on our part to try to respond to some requests...for
more specific practical guidance as to the type of reports that we were
expecting to get at the end of October," Spotila said.
Agencies are re-examining how they perform their missions as they make
systems and transactions available to the public electronically. Part of
the OMB guidance requires agencies to make sure they include in their GPEA
plans how they are updating their business processes. That includes automating
groups of transactions that serve a common customer, both within an agency
and across agencies.
The new memo should make it easier for agencies to initiate their plans
for OMB, especially as they organize the services offered to the public
by their agency's different offices, said Tony Trenkle, director of electronic
services at the Social Security Administration.
"I think it provides us with better guidance," he said. "It seems pretty
straightforward to me, but this cuts across business lines in agencies,
so it depends on how well they are set up for this. It's not really just
a CIO function; it gets into every level of the business."
Agencies should make sure to include any additional resources they believe
will be necessary to implement the changes in their budget request, and
they should tie the needs and the plan into that request, Spotila wrote.
Agency reports under the Government Performance and Results Act should also
address progress in implementing GPEA and e-government.
There will be continual changes and improvements made up to and beyond
the October 2003 deadline, Spotila said.
The Social Security Administration is working with OMB and the General
Services Administration to serve as a model for GPEA plans. "We're probably
far ahead of other agencies since we recognized early on that this would
have a big impact on us," Trenkle said. And OMB wants to be able to draw
on experiences from agencies such as SSA so agencies can share their GPEA
best practices, Spotila said.