First joint biz cases released

OMB Aug. 26 memo

The Office of Management and Budget released Aug. 26 a list of the first 14 information technology investment business cases developed by and for multiple agencies, a practice the Bush administration is encouraging across government.

The idea of joint business cases is a large part of the administration's e-government strategy, and OMB will be giving priority consideration to multiagency IT investments in the fiscal 2004 budget process, wrote Mark Forman, OMB's associate director of IT and e-government, in an Aug. 6 memo.

In that memo, OMB gave agencies until Aug. 21 to provide an initial list of potential joint business cases, where agencies have come together to build a single system to meet their common needs.

The 14 joint business cases released this week are the first decided on by the agencies themselves, although every agency is already participating in at least one of the 24 cross-agency e-government initiatives started last year.

The new joint business cases are only the beginning of the fiscal 2004 opportunities, Forman wrote in an Aug. 26 memo. The administration expects to identify other opportunities for joint business cases as OMB goes through the budget requests that agencies will submit in September, and OMB plans to provide individual guidance to agencies on those opportunities, he wrote.

Every joint business case has a lead agency, which makes the final budget request. But the partner agencies will be expected to reference their contribution in their own budget documents, Forman wrote.

Forman is also asking every agency to consult the list and contact the lead agency on any project that they may want to participate in.

The initial list includes the following proposed projects:

* An entry/exit system for people coming in and out of the country, led by the Justice Department.

* A national biological information infrastructure, led by the Environmental Protection Agency.

* An automated export trade statistics system, led by the Commerce Department.

* An enterprise resource planning solution, led by the Agriculture Department.

* An Extensible Markup Language registry, led by the General Services Administration.

To determine which projects could be combined across agencies, officials were expected to use the Federal Enterprise Architecture Business Reference Model, a mapping of all agency business functions and systems compiled by OMB and released for agencies to review in July.

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