Federal architecture creates opportunities

The Office of Management and Budget's federal enterprise architecture is a business-based framework that describes the kinds of operations carried out by government. Its goals are to cut redundancies in information technology

investments governmentwide, facilitate agencies' collaborations with one another and integrate government activities by using common approaches when possible.

The architecture is being constructed through the use of five interrelated reference models: performance, business, service, data and information, and technical.

Although these models are not specifically aimed at homeland security, they will help identify those business functions that touch on homeland security, said Mike Tiemann, a principal for enterprise architecture with AT&T Government Solutions and former enterprise architect for the Energy Department.

The models also will help state and local government agencies with their homeland security issues, he said.

"Those entities that start using these reference models will get to a higher order of integration sooner rather than later," Tiemann said. Federal agencies are being pushed to use them, "and I would hope that the government somehow can also link the use of the models to the process of getting [homeland security] grant money to state and local" agencies.

OMB is already coordinating closely with the National Association of State Chief Information Officers on encouraging state and local governments to adopt the federal models, he said.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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