OMB developing e-gov standards

E-Government Strategy

The Office of Management and Budget is starting to develop high-level standards for the 24 e-government initiatives that will ensure consistency and interoperability while providing the agencies with flexibility over the details, said Norman Lorentz, OMB's new chief technology officer.

OMB is conducting a governmentwide enterprise architecture study, looking at the technology that can be used to support the many lines of business the government performs. Part of that study is to define the technology groups that the e-government initiatives fall into, such as those that use middleware or those that use Web servers.

Initiatives with the same base technology will be required to use the same architecture standards, with major variations allowed only for the sake of reliability and redundancy, Lorentz said March 7 at a meeting of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Computer System Security and Privacy Advisory Board.

OMB will be setting standards for processes, protocols and approaches, using CIO Council documents that include the "Practical Guide to Federal Enterprise Architecture" and the "Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework" as a baseline, he said, adding that agencies could choose from the many products that meet those standards.

Where possible, the standards will be based on existing ones, such as the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS), which are set and overseen by NIST.

OMB also is looking at commercial standards, including the P3P standard developed by the World Wide Web Consortium's Platform for Privacy Preferences Project, Lorentz said.

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