Four agencies' e-gov scores drop

OMB downgraded four agencies because of problems in using their enterprise architectures, while overall government performance improved, officials say.

Four agencies saw their e-government scores on the President’s Management Agenda score card drop to red after having problems with their enterprise architectures.The Smithsonian Institution’s overall score plunged the most, going to red from green in the quarterly report on agency progress in meeting the five areas of the agenda. The Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Personnel Management, and the Small Business Administration also fell to red on e-government.OMB today released the latest report card, which shows that still only two agencies — the Labor and State departments — earned five green scores.Overall, OMB awarded 64 green scores, 37 yellow and 29 red, which is a 15 percent increase in the number of green scores since last quarter’s report card, White House officials said.Each quarter, the administration gives agencies green, yellow or red scores for their efforts to meet the goals of the five agenda items: human capital, competitive sourcing, financial performance, e-government, and budget and performance integration.Green means an agency has met all the standards for success, yellow means it has met some but not all and red means there are serious problems. OMB grades each agency on its overall status and progress toward implementing the agenda items.“Federal agencies have significantly greater ability to be effective today than they did in 2001 when they began working on the PMA,” said OMB Deputy Director for Management Clay Johnson, in a statement. “But having the ability to be effective is not enough. Those scores translate into real results, and agencies must demonstrate that what they are doing is making government more effective.”Agencies are finding the most success under the human capital agenda item because departments have earned 16 green and 10 yellow scores. Under budget and performance integration, agencies also are achieving higher scores with 16 green, nine yellow and one red mark.Under e-government, agencies earned eight red, 12 yellow and six green scores. Johnson said the four agencies that dropped their grades were not using their enterprise architectures properly. He didn’t offer details, however.“Agencies were assessed based on their use of the enterprise architectures to maximize efficiency of cross-agency initiatives, implement IPv6, realize efficiencies and improve program performance,” Johnson said.The Homeland Security and Health and Human Services departments improved their e-government grades to yellow from red last quarter. DHS now has three yellow and two red scores after having all red scores for much of the past three years.Karen Evans, OMB’s administrator for e-government and information technology, said in a letter accompanying the score card that her office will share the Federal Enterprise Architecture Program Management Office’s assessments of agency blueprints later this month.“The feedback provided by OMB is to be used by the agencies to further improve their EA practice, and thereby better inform their IT investment decisions for the fiscal 2009 budget cycle,” she said in the letter.Evans also said the governmentwide average for system security controls that agencies tested increased to 83 percent from 78 percent since last quarter.

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