Online extra | Security initiative looking for direction

The Office of Management and Budget plans to focus on training and Federal Information Security Management Act reporting over the next eight months under the Security Line of Business Consolidation initiative.

But the program is at a standstill, officials said.

OMB and the Homeland Security Department are deciding what the next steps are even though at least five agencies—the departments of Homeland Security and Justice, the Agency for International Development, the Environment Protection Agency and the Office of Personnel Development—submitted business cases last fall to become Security LOB centers of excellence.

The task force that worked last summer to develop the initiative’s business case has been dissolved, so there is no formal multiagency organization discussing the program’s next steps, officials said.

“Some of the business cases agencies submitted were stronger than others and all had potential, but none were at the point where the managing partners felt comfortable designating them as COEs for these particular areas,” said a government official close to the LOB process. “What OMB is doing is trying to pick this up again and see what the next steps are. We need to move this along.”

OMB and DHS also want to take a closer look at how to address situational awareness and incident response, and product evaluation under the COE concept.

The official said OMB likely will make some decisions about COEs in the 2008 budget process.

OMB said agencies will spend about $5.2 billion a year on IT security, and the four areas the LOB is focusing on account for about $1.3 billion, or 25 percent.

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