OMB biz case deadline set

OMB Memo

The Office of Management and Budget has given agencies until Aug. 21 to submit a list of joint business cases for systems that potentially could be combined across agencies.

OMB will give priority consideration in the fiscal 2004 budget process to information technology investments with business cases from multiple agencies, according to an Aug. 6 memorandum from Mark Forman, associate director of IT and e-government at OMB.

To determine which projects can be shared by agencies, officials should use the Federal Enterprise Architecture Business Reference Model, a mapping of all agency business functions and systems compiled by OMB and released for agency review in July. OMB will work with agencies to prepare the joint business cases, but officials should know how their systems fit into the government's infrastructure.

The OMB memo recommended several areas for possible collaboration, including projects that support one of the four e-government portfolio areas and projects that meet common infrastructure needs, such as software applications.

OMB officials will review the joint business cases beginning Aug. 23 and will identify the business cases that should be submitted Sept. 9 as part of the fiscal 2004 budget requests.

At this point in the budget process, agencies should not have to start from scratch but should be finalizing the details of their requests. "This memo is just a formalization of the guidance [OMB has] been giving for some period of time," said Alan Balutis, former deputy CIO at the Commerce Department.

"If this was something that was totally out of the blue, it would be a different matter," he said, "but this is really just a ratification of what they've been talking about all along."

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