E-Gov starts next phase

The next phase of e-government will involve looking at the federal enterprise architecture to identify projects that will yield a "common government solution," said Karen Evans, the Office of Management and Budget information technology chief.

In the coming year, OMB officials will focus on finding projects that fall into four lines of business that weren't originally identified as a part of the 24 e-government initiatives: public health information systems, criminal investigation, human resources systems and financial management applications.

Officials described the first initiatives as "low hanging fruit" that provided a good opportunity to demonstrate the value of e-government. The next step is a more detailed process, and officials have yet to determine just what projects will emerge, said Evans, OMB's administrator for e-government and IT.

"What we are really looking at is taking the efforts in the enterprise architecture...and logical projects [that] will come out of that," Evans said, speaking today at a lunch sponsored by the Association for Federal Information Resources Management.

OMB officials have been working on this issue at least since the fiscal 2004 budget process, when Mark Forman, OMB's former IT chief, identified six categories or lines of business that cut across agencies.

As OMB officials move through the fiscal 2005 budget process, they will have more information, but they don't have a handle on the projects yet, Evans said. She said the analysis of those areas are wrapping up.

Meanwhile, the 24 e-government initiatives will not be forgotten, she said. Completing the initiatives, which Evans and other officials hope to do in the coming year, means the projects have finished an initial phase to demonstrate the benefits of the president's management agenda and agency cooperation. Those initiatives then become part of the government's business lines.

"When we say we're done, it doesn't mean OMB is moving away from the project," Evans said. "It means they're moving into the mainstream. It's not that we're backing off of those, it's that those initiatives have graduated. They're mature."

New initiatives working toward this common government solution will move up and take their place in the spotlight, she said.

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