Feds take closer look at PART IT investments

The Office of Management and Budget for the first time is requiring agencies to map IT investments to programs that went through the Performance Assessment Ratings Tool process.

The administration yesterday released fiscal 2006 budget guidance in Circular A-11 and while officials said most of the requirements remain the same as last year, the requirement for agencies to document how all IT investments align and integrate with programs that have gone through the PART process is new.

The guidance also requires agencies to discuss how their IT portfolio management has enhanced the quality of IT investments, resulting in improved program performance.

OMB's PART tool evaluates agency programs in terms of outcomes and results, and officials have never previously separated the IT aspect of the programs. OMB plans to review 20 percent of the programs each year; with the 2006 budget submission it will have looked at 60 percent of all federal programs.

The guidance also updated the Federal Enterprise Architecture's Business Reference Model by adding or subtracting subfunctions in each line of business, and improved guidance for agencies to map investments to the other three completed reference models.

For instance, in the Human Resources Management Line of Business, OMB, with agency input, added 13 new subfunctions and deleted four.

OMB said the goals of the guidance include helping agencies:

  • Make sure all their investments' mapping to the FEA are accurately aligned with the governmentwide blueprint

  • Map nonmajor IT investments to the Business Reference Model for inclusion in the Exhibit 53 budget document

  • Use the Performance Reference Model for any major IT projects requesting new, development or modernization funding. All major investments must identify at least one indicator in each of four measurement areas: mission and business results, customer results, processes and activities, and technology measurement.

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