OF THE HONORABLE MARK W. EVERSON
DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR MANAGEMENT
OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
MARK A. FORMAN
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND E- GOVERNMENT
OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
SUBCOMMITTEE ON TECHNOLOGY AND PROCUREMENT POLICY
COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM
UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
and Members of the Committee,
Thank you for
the opportunity to appear before the Subcommittee to discuss the Administration's
views on e-government and to comment on legislation pending before the Committee.
We welcome your interest and the continued opportunity to work with you
to strengthen the initiative.
also known as e-government, is one of the key elements in the President's
Management Agenda. The Presidents e-government initiative seeks to
harness the potential of technology to provide high quality services at
reduced cost to the American people. This Administration continues to believe
that e-government must be integrated with the Administrations other
management initiatives: budget and performance integration, strategic management
of human capital, competitive sourcing, and improved financial performance.
The potential for substantial improvement is greater if all these initiatives
are pursued concurrently.
is increasingly becoming the principal means by which citizens engage with
their government. An April 2000 report from the Pew Foundation found that
68 million Americans have used government web sites up from 40 million
in March 2000. The Federal Register reports that it received 65 million
requests to download documents from its website in 2001. And based on a
poll commissioned by the Council for Excellence in Government, citizens
overwhelmingly believe that e-government leads to better government. The
President sees e-government as part of a larger vision for reforming government.
E-government and the Presidents Management Agenda
vision for reforming government emphasizes that "government needs to
reform its operationshow it goes about its business and how it treats
the people it serves. The vision is guided by three principles:
actively promoting innovation.
For the e-government
initiative, the strategic question that we face is how to maximize results
from the more than $50 billion we invest annually in IT.
will enable agencies to work together to improve services significantly
and reduce operating costs. The e-government initiative is making government
more responsive to citizens. Electronic commerce and Internet technology
have made daily tasks easier and quicker; the U.S. government is now working
to do the same for U.S. citizens.
initiative encourages and supports agencies to implement and use modern,
secure technologies to become more productive, while responding faster and
better to the needs of American citizens. The e-government initiative promotes
the use of e-business tools by agencies in lessening paperwork burdens.
This initiative will provide tools for all levels of government
local, state, and federal to work together. Under the e-government
initiative, U.S. government websites are already providing an easier, smarter,
faster way for citizens to get the services and information they want. As
e-government deploys effectively, conducting business with the government
becomes easier, more private, and secure.
Our goal is
that government services and information not be more than three clicks
away when using the Internet. Achieving this vision requires agencies to
integrate and simplify their operations.
year, OMB released an e-government strategy. This strategy and expected
updates to the strategy will result in significant improvements in the federal
delivery of services to citizens;
layers of government management;
it possible for citizens, businesses, other levels of government and
federal employees to find information and get services easily from the
agencies' business processes and reducing costs through integrating
and eliminating redundant systems;
achievement of the other elements of the Presidents Management
government operations to guarantee rapid response to citizen needs.
strategy focuses on four citizen-centered groups, each providing opportunities
to transform delivery of services.
We are focused on building easy to find one-stop-shops for citizens
creating single points of easy access to high-quality government
services. Citizens should be able to find what they need quickly and
easily and access information in minutes or seconds, instead of days
or hours. For example, our GovBenefits.gov portal is expanding to provide
potential beneficiaries with instant access to information for all government
benefit programs and services through a single web site.
The Federal government must use the Internet to reduce the burden it
places on businesses. The Administration cannot continue to make businesses
report the same data to multiple agencies because of the governments
failure to reuse the data appropriately, and failing to take advantage
of commercial electronic transaction protocols. The deployment of these
technologies will help streamline the myriad of reporting requirements
as well as facilitating a more efficient means for business to do business
with the government. For example, the goal of the Business Compliance
One Stop project is to reduce the burden of business owners by making
it easy to find, understand, and comply with governmental laws and regulations.
The Federal government must make it easier for states and localities
to meet reporting requirements, while promoting performance measurement,
especially for grants. State and local governments will see significant
administrative savings and will be able to improve program delivery
because the data necessary to measure performance will be more accurate
and timely. Moreover, improving the way that information is shared among
levels of government will improve the nations ability to provide
for homeland security. Many of the intergovernmental initiatives are
designed to improve homeland security as identified in the Presidents
Budget and in the National Strategy released in July. For example, one
initiative is a portal that will allow us to use the Internet to improve
the delivery process for disaster assistance information to serve the
public and the emergency response community.
Efficiency and Effectiveness: The Federal government must use modern
technology to rethink internal processes to reduce costs for federal
government agency administration. By using industry best practices in
areas such as supply-chain management, financial management, and knowledge
management agencies will be able to improve effectiveness and efficiency,
eliminating delays in processing, and improving employee satisfaction
and retention. A clear model for this is our E-Training initiative,
golearn.gov, which is consolidating numerous online federal training
capabilities into a premier E-training portal, providing enhanced access
to high quality training and competency development for federal employees.
e-government vision was created to address the six chronic internal
problems that have built up in the government over time. We are making
headway but these bad habits are difficult to break. These chronic problems
Cowpaths Agencies have automated existing outdated processes,
instead of fixing underlying management problems or simplifying agency
procedures to take advantage of new e-business and e-government capabilities.
Buying Agencies have made unnecessarily duplicative information
Program Management Many major IT projects have not met cost,
schedule, and performance goals.
Modernization Blueprints Few agencies have had plans demonstrating
and documenting the linkage between IT capabilities and the business
needs of the agency.
of Automation Agencies have built individual capabilities that
are not interoperable with one another. Few IT investments significantly
improve mission performance.
IT Security Major gaps have existed in agency and government-wide
information and IT-related security.
Director for Information Technology and E-Government has led work on this
strategy, focusing on how information technology is managed at an enterprise
level within and across agencies, and ultimately serving citizens in a way
that is linked to agency missions and performance goals. This resulted in
the selection of 24 interagency e-government initiatives in the Presidents
projects were selected on the basis of the value they would bring to citizens,
while generating cost savings or improving effectiveness of government.
The 24 projects achieve these results by simplifying and unifying agency
work processes and information flows, providing one-stop access to a variety
of services to citizens and enabling information to be collected online
once and reused, rather than being collected numerous times. Agencies have
since identified additional opportunities for using e-government to work
across boundaries to improve performance and reduce costs.
progress has been made on the projects in the last six months, including
the launch of several government portals and initiative websites. Examples
of these websites and the other Administration e-government projects include:
provides access to the information and services of 110 government programs
from 11 Federal agencies that represent more than $1 trillion in annual
- The Government
Online Learning Center golearn.gov, is the first milestone of E-Training
and has provided over a million training courses and e-books to federal
employees since its launch in July.
provides citizens a one-stop online portal to 1900 federal parks and
other recreation facilities managed by eight Bureaus in four departments.
the E-Grants website deploys in October, there will be a simple one-stop
online place for state and local governments, researchers, faith and
community based organizations, citizens and businesses to easily look
across 500 grant programs to see what grant may meet their needs. Then
the section on grant guides at your local bookstore will no longer be
larger than the section on college guides.
- The improved
FirstGov.gov website, selected by Yahoo as one of the 50 most
incredibly useful websites, now provides government services
within three clicks of your mouse, as well as easy navigation
and better search capabilities.
- EZ Tax
Filing recently announced a unique private-public partnership to provide
citizens easier, secure, and free opportunities to prepare and file
their taxes via the Internet.
creates the largest clearinghouse ever assembled to help organizations
find volunteers and people find volunteer opportunities through more
than 50,000 organizations in their hometown, across the country, or
across the world.
this fall, a comprehensive Federal website to provide information about
government services and resources for the nations 54 million
people with disabilities will be released.
has deployed an integrated database that will enable significant reductions
in the security clearance backlog.
One Stop expanded the existing capabilities of the USAJOBS.GOV web site
to provide a one-stop, streamline federal employment application process,
improve service delivery to job applicants, and enhance the government's
position as a competitor for top talent. Indeed, the new website hosted
the Virtual IT Job Fair, which was initiated in response to the Chairmans
request at a hearing of this subcommittee late last year.
SAFECOM has established a Program Structure with significant State and
local representation to improve wireless communications interoperability
among first responders at all levels of government.
- And just
today, under the e-Authentication program, we announced a new capability
that will facilitate using one digital signature across multiple government
activities. Now, a citizen or business can engage in secure transactions
without having to buy a new set of credentials for each agency.
We have attached
a table of the 24 projects and their managing partner agencies for the Committees
Barriers to Implementing the Strategy
In order to
achieve results from the 24 projects, and to reach the promise of e-government
more generally, we have to overcome a number of key barriers that may stand
in the way of successful implementation. Recurring barriers include agency
culture, lack of a federal architecture, trust, resources, and stakeholder
resistance. Several actions we are taking are helping us overcome these
barriers, and e-government legislation can increase our chances for success.
One of the most
significant findings to emerge from the e-government initiative came from
a review of the federal governments enterprise architecture. An enterprise
architecture (EA) describes how an organization performs its work using
people, business processes, data, and technology. EAs are modernization
blueprints to reform agency operations by aligning business, information,
and technology systems to achieve performance objectives.
OMB is leading
the development of a Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) with the support
of the CIO Council. The purpose of this effort is to identify opportunities
to simplify processes and unify work across the agencies and within the
many lines of business of the Federal Government. The foundation of the
FEA is the Business Reference Model (BRM), which describes the government's
lines of business and its services to the citizen independent of the agencies
and offices involved. This business-based foundation provides a common framework
for improvement in budget allocation, horizontal and vertical information
sharing, performance measurement, budget and performance integration, cross-agency
collaboration, and e-government, as well as separate component architectures.
The lines of business and sub-functions that comprise the BRM represent
a departure from previous models of the federal government that use antiquated,
stove-piped, agency-oriented frameworks. The BRM is the first layer of the
Federal Enterprise Architecture and it is the main viewpoint for our analysis
of data, applications and technology. The outcome of this effort will be
a more citizen-centered, customer-focused government that maximizes technology
investments to better achieve mission outcomes.
Funding and Jurisdictional Barriers
in information technology is necessary to achieve the e-government vision.
The President's Budget is clear about our plans to use capital planning
to improve performance, achieve outcomes from investments that match agency
strategic priorities, and provide real benefits to the public. As major
corporations have adapted to the digital economy, business cases, enterprise
architectures, and IT capital planning have become recognized as highly
effective practices. This Committee has strongly supported effective IT
management practices, and OMB pledges the Administrations full support
to employing these practices throughout the government.
Many have expressed
specific concerns about the funding required to meet the goals and changes
of e-government. As OMBs previous testimony before the Senate on
S. 803 noted, we have the room to find money to start e-government projects
if we simply stop funding what is not working. The FY 2002 Federal IT Budget
portfolio totals approximately $50 billion; in FY 2003, we estimate that
almost $52.6 billion will be spent on IT. The FY 2004 Budget process will
include a framework for discontinuing IT investments that are no longer
relevant, duplicate other systems or redundant business processes, are behind
schedule, over budget or not delivering results. Our process includes a
review of all IT investments against the BRM.
above, in FY 2003, we identified opportunities for cross-agency projects
and have worked to leverage investments from a number of partnering agencies
for specific projects. For FY 2004, OMB will recommend investments in the
Presidents ongoing E-Government initiatives, as well as new e-government
investments identified through design of the Federal business architecture.
We will use an integrated budget process that compliments each agencys
investment portfolio. OMB will use agency budget submissions to identify
cross-agency investments. OMB will give priority to agencies that have worked
collectively to present and support activities in an integrated fashion.
Agency activities should be aligned with those of other agencies where such
cooperation can better serve citizens, businesses, governments, and internal
Federal operations. The FY 2004 Budget will appropriately reflect such interagency
collaboration, and agencies will be expected to demonstrate these efforts
in their own Budget submissions.
appropriations for e-government make it difficult to budget for, fund, and
manage cross-agency projects. To help overcome this barrier, the President
included in his FY 2003 Budget, a proposal for a $100 million e-government
fund for innovative interagency e-government projects. The fund supports
multi-agency e-government projects that are currently too expensive for
any one agency budget to bear; such cross-agency e-government projects would
have to be considered by multiple authorizing and appropriations committees.
The fund the
President proposes leverages cross-agency work in e government that serves
citizens and businesses, and could drastically improve citizens' ability
to access federal services and federal information online. The fund provides
for collaborative e government activities, supporting missions and goals
that affect multiple agencies without introducing interagency funding conflicts,
and consolidating redundant information technology investments that crossed
agency and committee jurisdictions and represented a poor use of taxpayer
dollars. The $5 million appropriated in FY 2002 was invested in tools to
integrate multiple agency investments, such as GovBenefits, that were new
and not redundant with other existing agency expenditures.
Our intent for
FY 2003 is to fund similar integrations and achieve consolidation of redundant
IT investments, under a fund that leverages other investments in a way that
is not feasible through other funding sources. Indeed, as we are successful
in using the e-government fund to integrate redundant systems, we can free
up those same agency resources to be spent on more productive ways to achieve
the missions that appropriated dollars are intended to serve. We have made
great strides in implementing this fund in FY 2002.
We are pleased
that S. 803 matches both the amounts proposed by the Presidents budget
for FY 2003 ($45 million) and FY 2004 ($50 million). Currently, however,
the appropriations bill passed by the Senate Treasury-Postal Appropriations
Subcommittee also provides for $45 million in FY 2003, while the companion
legislation in the House stands at just $5 million. Fully funding the Administrations
request as authorized by S. 803 is critical to achieving the promise of
e-government. We look forward to working with both the authorizing and appropriations
committees to provide for full funding of the Presidents initiative
in this area. Moreover, the goals and criteria for the fund set out in the
legislation match those of the Presidents e-government fund. The
fund will remain a powerful tool to overcome jurisdictional barriers to
e-government, making agencies work together to provide information and services
to the American people more effectively and efficiently.
Legislation -- S. 803
We worked with
the Senate to revise the e-government bill so that it furthers the Presidents
goals in this area. We look forward to working with the Committee on Government
Reform, and this subcommittee in particular as well as with the Senate,
on any refinements to the bill. This is just one of many important government
management areas where we can be a partner with you, Mr. Chairman, and the
other members of the subcommittee. I would like to take the opportunity
to make some specific comments about the Senate-passed S. 803.
We believe that
S. 803 as passed by the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs is much
improved over the version of the bill as originally introduced. There are
many positive aspects of S. 803 to enable open access, efficient government
operations, and effective decision-making -- a vision that the President
Last year, OMB
raised concerns with the original version of S. 803, including:
of performance standards linking e-government to improvements in agency
efficiency and effectiveness.
creation of a Federal CIO, parallel to the DDM.
- The proliferation
of forums created and led by OMB.
new Federal agency reporting requirements.
with the Senate, those initial concerns were addressed. Just a few of the
improvements to the bill include:
have been refined and consolidated and performance goals and measures
have been integrated into the activities of each section, tying into
an overall performance goal section that has been added to Title II.
This will help us ensure that e-government activities are not ends to
themselves but means to improve agency delivery of information and services.
- The bill
and its supporting report language include a definition for enterprise
architecture (EA). This definition is consistent with industry
best practices regarding EAs.
- The sections
of the original bill that dealt with government information and dissemination
have been consolidated into one section. It is critical to have a comprehensive
and integrated approach to this important government function. This
bill also makes clear that any disclosure of information, pursuant to
this legislation, would be consistent with the protection of information
used or held in a national security system.
We are especially
supportive of the alignment of several of the activities and initiatives
of the bill with the Administrations initiatives to further e-government,
along with the alignment of the authorization of appropriations for those
activities with the proposed amounts of the Presidents Budget. Some
provisions that we supported in last years testimony have been refined
and improved. These provisions include the sections authorizing our work
on the governments web portal, FirstGov.gov; the development of a
framework to provide for interoperability in using digital signatures for
agency programs; authorization for electronic access to agency regulatory
dockets; the promotion of open geospatial information standards; and access
for persons with disabilities in implementing Section 508 of the Rehabilitation
We also support
S. 803s strong discussion on the importance of privacy for e-government
in Section 208 of the bill. Privacy and protecting the privacy of the personal
information of citizens is very important to the Administration.
e-government bill also reauthorizes the Government Information Security
Reform Act (Security Act). The Security Act, and OMB information and IT
security policy, have established a government-wide process where agencies
identify their IT security performance gaps and develop and manage corrective
action plans to close those gaps. This process has led to a better and more
detailed understanding by the agencies, OMB, and the Congress of the Federal
governments IT security weaknesses. Since enactment of the Security
Act in November 2000 and completion of the first reports to Congress under
that statute in 2001, OMB has discerned a substantial increase in senior
management attention to the security of information and IT. We have accomplished
major improvements -- for example, we have for the first time a baseline
set of data on agency security performance and agencies have developed plans
of action and milestones to close their security performance gaps. Additionally,
OMB has taken steps to further integrate security into the budget process
by directly tying these corrective action plans to the budget request for
an IT investment.
Act has received wide support throughout the executive and legislative branches
and OMB agrees that reauthorization is a vital step toward maintaining the
progress made over the last two years. Unfortunately, without action, the
Security Act will expire this November. While our work on IT security would
continue without reauthorization of this important legislation, the signal
that security is a diminished priority in the eyes of Congress could cause
the government to lose momentum in this critical area.
your leadership in the development of the Federal Information Security Management
Act (FISMA) clearly indicates that we agree on this critical priority. Like
the e-government bill, FISMA would also extend indefinitely the salient
provisions of the Government Information Security Reform Act of 2000. The
Administration looks forward to working with the House to address final
issues with this legislation as well as to secure enactment; however, we
have a concern with one element of the version of FISMA that was attached
in the HR 5005, the House Homeland Security Bill and look forward to your
leadership in restoring the original language.
area that we believe important to address in an e-government bill concerns
the financing of cross-agency initiatives to improve service to the citizen
and reduce operating costs. As of now, it is difficult for agencies to join
together IT solutions because funding streams reflect agency silos. Our
early successes in e-government demonstrates that consolidating and integrating
overlapping IT investments can improve service to the citizen, while freeing
up more dollars to go to the mission for which they were appropriated. In
simple terms, the choice for the government is whether to buy one computer
as opposed to two computers to perform the same function. Congressional
authorization for greater consolidation of IT investments across jurisdictions
would go a long way toward improving government efficiency and effectiveness.
We look forward to working with the Congress on building such language into
of Electronic Government
S. 803 requirement for a Federal CIO has been transformed into the creation
of an Office of Electronic Government in OMB, to be headed by an Administrator
of Electronic Government reporting to OMBs Deputy Director for Management
(DDM). Senate passage of S. 803 under this construct aligns with how OMB
is currently managing its e-government initiatives. We created the office
of the Associate Director for IT and E-Government to ensure that e-government
and associated information technology policy objectives are fully integrated
with the Presidents Management Agenda, and the Senate bill reflects
does not support requiring the head of this Office of Electronic Government
to be confirmed by the Senate. In a period where Congress and the Administration
are working together to reform the confirmation process by reducing the
number of positions that are unnecessarily subject to Senate approval, we
do not see how introducing another lengthy confirmation process would help
this and future Administrations to find qualified candidates, and allow
those individuals to begin carrying out their responsibilities quickly.
Senate confirmation does not determine the importance of the position
we value the position as one of five pillars of the Presidents Management
Agenda; the priority for this position is set by the Presidents priority
for management reform. The Congress will properly continue to confirm the
Deputy Director for Management, who is accountable for all Federal management
issues, including the integration of technology with financial management,
human capital, and other key priorities.
is gratified with the attention Congress is giving to e-government. S. 803
includes many provisions that will promote the expansion of the Administrations
e-government initiatives. We are eager to work with Congress, and this subcommittee
in particular, on any further refinement to the bill so as to ensure enactment
of constructive e-government legislation. It is critically important for
Congress to endorse a cross-agency approach to e-government. Our intent
is to improve the delivery of services and access to information for the
American people. We can work together to achieve these important goals.