STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE KAREN EVANS ADMINISTRATOR
FOR ELECTRONIC GOVERNMENT AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Good afternoon, Mr.
Chairman and Members of the Committee. Thank you for inviting me to speak
about the Federal governments efforts in preparing for the transition
to Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6).
This afternoon I would
like to briefly discuss some benefits of IPv6, highlight some challenges
in making the transition, and identify the steps we are taking to address
The transition to
IPv6 is more than an upgrade of the existing protocol. IPv6 is replete
with new features and functions such as expanded address space, improved
flexibility and functionality, improved information routing, enhanced
mobility features, simplified activation, configuration and operation
of networks and services, and once fully implemented, improved security.
IPv6 when fully functional will ultimately result in a number of benefits,
but more importantly a new communication paradigm.
Some benefits of
IPv6 will be directly to logistics and consumers. IPv6, combined with
Radio Frequency Identification Tags and integrated into mobile phones
and consumer electronics, will support new ways of thinking about the
way business is conducted and the way consumers could buy goods and services.
Other benefits of IPv6 will be directly to commuters and first responders.
For example, IPv6 combined with Dedicated Short-Range Communication technology,
could lead to smarter and safer cars, fewer traffic delays, and an improved
ability for first responders to signal drivers of their rapid approach
while controlling the stop lights at an intersection.
Actually, the paradigm
shift has already started in the Federal government because IPv6 capable
software and hardware already exist in Federal government networks (and
elsewhere). Most current computer operating systems support IPv6 and many
installed base of routers and switches already have IPv6 built-in. In
other words, the transition to IPv6 is already taking place, but it has
many challenges -- including planning for system migration, security aspects
of the transition, and as yet undefined privacy concerns of the technology
As I mentioned in
my April 7, 2005, testimony before this committee regarding our efforts
to safeguard the governments information and systems, late last
fall OMB directed the agencies to provide a preliminary report on their
planning activities for the transition to IPv6. Only the Department of
Defense had undertaken any significant effort in this area. Given the
lack of government-wide progress and our concern regarding the complexities
of transition, we recognized the need to begin developing a comprehensive
transition planning guide and process.
We are about to take
the first step and issue a policy memorandum providing guidance to the
agencies to ensure an orderly and secure transition to IPv6. The purpose
of the guidance will be to ensure effective planning and to raise the
level of awareness and urgency of preparing for IPv6. Later in my testimony
I will discuss the key elements of the policy.
As you know, the
Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report identifying
a number of significant IPv6 challenges. A draft report, published for
public notice and comment by the Department of Commerce, also identifies
many of the same challenges. Both reports describe careful planning as
a key for Federal agencies to make an orderly transition and both emphasize
the need to ensure the security of agency information and networks during
On the security issue,
and to underscore the complexity of planning for the transition, not all
experts agree on the extent of the security risk involved in the IPv6
transition. The most telling example of these differing views comes from
experts developing todays most commonly used computer operating
system. They have expressed skepticism regarding the level of risk highlighted
in the GAO report. We continue to discuss this issue with them at staff
and senior levels and are awaiting their comments on the GAO report and
will provide those comments to GAO as well.
The overarching challenge
facing us is ensuring continued uninterrupted functionality of Federal
agencies during the transition while providing continued and improved
information assurance. This will require major changes in the architecture
of many agency networks. Since there is a large embedded base of IPv4-compatible
equipment and applications, transitioning to IPv6 will also require large
capital investments and labor resources. While the challenges are significant,
they are not insurmountable, especially if we approach them methodically
and in phases.
Let me begin by sharing
with you what we are doing to address these challenges.
As I mentioned earlier,
we are about to issue a policy memorandum providing guidance to the agencies
to ensure an orderly and secure transition to IPv6. The guidance will
lay out five important actions the agencies should take.
First, agencies will
have to familiarize themselves to the transitions issues by reviewing
the GAO report, Commerce report, and particularly the Department of Homeland
Securitys US-CERT advisory of security issues concerning IPv6.
Since IPv6 is already present in many Federal networks, it is important
that agencies begin addressing the security risks associated with IPv6
Second, agencies will
have to assign a specific individual to lead and coordinate agency planning.
This person will be responsible for monitoring, enforcing, and reporting
on the transition and implementation of IPv6 within the agency.
Third, agencies will
develop an inventory of existing IP capable devices and technologies.
To ensure an orderly transition from IPv4 to IPv6, we must establish a
baseline and determine the size of the problem. While we know IPv6 technologies
are deployed throughout the government, but like other organizations,
we do not know specifically which ones, how many there are, or precisely
where they are located. We are planning for each agency to file a report
of their inventory of IP capable devices and technologies to OMB in the
first quarter of FY 2006.
Fourth, agencies will
conduct an impact analysis to determine fiscal and operational impacts
and risks during the transition to IPv6. We are planning for each agency
to report the results of this impact analysis to OMB in the first quarter
of FY 2006, and it should include analysis on cost and risk. For cost,
the agencies must report on estimates for planning, infrastructure acquisition
(above and beyond normal expenditures), training, and risk mitigation.
As for all other planning
for investments in information technology, agencies IPv6 analyses
will include a risk inventory and assessment using the criteria set forth
in existing OMB capital planning and investment control policy found in
OMB Circular A-11, Section 300. This policy requires agencies to discuss
a range of risks and present a plan to eliminate, mitigate, or manage
them, with milestones and completion dates. Assessments will include areas
such as life-cycle costs, schedules, reliability of systems, dependencies
and interoperability between systems, asset and information protection,
and information privacy.
Fifth, the policy
will direct the CIO Council to develop before the end of the calendar
year, more detailed IPv6 implementing guidance. It will include guidance
for developing detailed prioritized schedules and milestones (e.g., a
sequencing plan), integrating IPv6 with the agency enterprise architecture,
developing necessary IPv6-related policies and compliance mechanisms,
training material, and test plans for IPv6 compatibility and interoperability.
To the extent the agencies are currently capable of addressing the elements
of the future CIO Council guidance, they have been instructed to begin
doing so now.
prioritized schedules and milestones is especially important for integrating
agency IPv6 transition activities with their enterprise architectures
and thus ensure the transition is consistent with and supporting of their
mission and business needs. We will use the OMB EA Assessment Framework
to measure the degree to which agencies are effectively performing this
Our policy will also
set June 2008 as the date by which all agencies infrastructure
(network backbones) must be using IPv6 and agency networks must interface
with this infrastructure. Once the network backbones are ready, the applications
and other elements will follow. Setting this firm date is necessary to
maintain focus on this important issue. Overall the actions set out in
our policy will begin to address the many challenges that come with IPv6
We are also now discussing
with the National Institute for Standards and Technology whether we need
a Federal Information Processing Standard for IPv6 and are preparing an
amendment to the Federal Acquisition Regulation to include language on
Thank you for this
opportunity to discuss the Administrations strategy on IPv6. As
we continue to work with the agencies to move toward an IPv6 environment,
we will continue to look for new opportunities to refine our oversight
of this important initiative. We appreciate your interest in OMBs
role in IPv6 and will continue our efforts to drive improved performance
and results throughout the Executive branch agencies.
Thank you. I will
be happy to answer any questions at this time.