Chief architect job lives

A House recommendation calling for the Office of Management and Budget to eliminate the position of chief architect did not make it into the omnibus spending bill for fiscal 2005.

The position has been vacant since Bob Haycock stepped down in April. Richard Brozen, an employee on loan from NASA, served as de facto architect until he returned to his home agency in October. Following Brozen's departure, Karen Evans, OMB administrator for e-government and information technology, assumed chief architect duties.

House appropriators decided to drop the anti-architect language after a Capitol Hill meeting with Evans in mid-October, according to a source. She "provided information on the office and the people in the office. It was more of a factual briefing of what the office does," said a congressional staffer who was present at the time. The meeting was routine and not a bargaining session, the staffer said.

A new chief architect will be named by January, according to federal officials who requested anonymity.

Another congressional staff member said House appropriators had called for eliminating the chief architect position because it did not appear that OMB officials had given the office enough resources. "The question we were asked to answer is, 'Are we going to get a reasonable return on the investment from having a program office turning the lights on and paying the expenses for one person to do this?'" the staffer said.

Appropriators originally inserted the recommendation into their report on the House version of the Transportation, Treasury and Independent Agencies spending bill. Similar language was not included in the Senate version, which cleared the Appropriations Committee but not the full Senate in September. The bill was one of nine that lawmakers rolled into a $388.4 billion spending package for fiscal 2005.

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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