OMB to assign e-gov watchdogs

The Office of Management and Budget will get more hands-on in its management of the 24 Quicksilver e-government projects by assigning 11th-hour gurus to make sure the efforts meet OMB’s demands.

OMB will assign what it calls solution architects to each of the 24 projects when they near completion, said Bob Haycock, manager for the federal enterprise architecture initiative.

“The solution architect is someone who understands the broader implications of the technology and project as it relates to all 24 projects,” said Haycock, who in mid-June took over the temporary OMB post from Debra Stouffer. “Their role is to facilitate the project, not oversee it. They will act like a SWAT team—move in quickly and provide assistance.”

OMB will assign architects to three or four projects within the next few weeks, Haycock said, but declined to identify the first projects to receive the extra assistance.

Volunteer architects

Haycock, who is on a 90-day detail at OMB from the Interior Department’s Bureau of Reclamation, spoke last week at an Oracle Corp. Government Executive Forum in Washington.

Stouffer left after her 90-day detail to OMB to become chief technology officer at the Environmental Protection Agency.

The architects will be volunteers from agencies. Their job will be to make sure that each project has a link to the FirstGov Web portal, uses the E-Authentication initiative for managing user verifications and meshes with the government’s enterprise architecture, said Norman Lorentz, OMB’s chief technology officer.

OMB named Tice DeYoung, Roopangi Kadakia, Stuart Rabinowitz and Marion Royal—all are systems workers at the General Services Administration—as the first solution architects.
Haycock said each has expertise in a different aspect of enterprise systems management:
  • DeYoung has experience in reviewing security requirements.

  • Kadakia focuses on how projects are presented to users.

  • Rabinowitz’s emphasis is how applications carry out a business function.

  • Royal’s area is systems interoperability.

“They will bring in and manage experts for the project they are working on to help the agencies’ leaders,” Haycock said. “We want to make sure we develop programs that can be reused across multiple agencies. The solution architects will help make that happen.”

Haycock also said OMB by October expects to issue the first complete version of an enterprise architecture for the e-government projects. The plan will include drafts of business, technical and application capability reference models, he said.

OMB is putting the finishing touches on the second version of the business reference model, an outline of the business missions each agency engages in and how each relates to programs at other agencies.

The agency expects to release the model this month. Stouffer finished the first version and in April sent it to agencies for comment.

Based on the responses, OMB simplified the model by combining some of the more than 30 functions and 100 subfunctions that the model uses to describe agencies’ missions along lines of business.

Once the business reference model is finished, OMB will put it on the enterprise architecture Web site. Lorentz said the Web site should go online by July 18 and initially will be available only to agencies.

To the Web

“Getting this Web site up is very high on our list,” Haycock said. “In late July and August, agencies will be able to use the business reference model for 2004 budget planning. They will begin to see how their IT investment aligns with their overall architecture.”

The technical and application capability models are in the beginning stages of development, he said. The technical reference model will outline where the projects are and where they need to go, Haycock said. It will define the technology needed to meet interoperability and integration requirements.

The application capability model will summarize the software and hardware agencies are using to meet their requirements and what is needed to complete the projects. Haycock said OMB will encourage agencies to use commercial software and share technology.

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