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1.4.2 CIO Responsibilities – OMB Guidance

1.4 IT Budgeting

1.4.2 CIO Responsibilities – OMB Guidance

This section consists of language from OMB guidance that further demarcates, expands upon, or otherwise clarifies the responsibilities of agency CIOs with regards to IT budgeting. See sections on OMB Memoranda and OMB Circulars for more information about these forms of OMB guidance. See sections on Office of Inspector General (OIG) and Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review how compliance with these documents is measured.

Visibility of IT Resource Plans/Decisions to CIO
The [CFO] and CIO jointly shall define the level of detail with which IT resource levels are described distinctly from other resources throughout the planning, programming, and budgeting stages. This should serve as the primary input into the IT capital planning and investment control documents submitted with the budget (formerly Exhibits 53 and 300). (OMB M-15-14. Management and Oversight of Federal Information Technology. June 2015.)

CIO Role in Pre-Budget Submission for Programs that Include IT and Overall Portfolio
The agency head shall ensure the agency-wide budget development process includes the CFO, [CAO], and CIO in the planning, programming, and budgeting stages for programs that include IT resources (not just programs that are primarily IT oriented). The agency head, in consultation with the CFO, CIO, and program leadership, shall define the processes by that program leadership works with the CIO to plan an overall portfolio of IT resources that achieve program and business objectives and to develop sound estimates of the necessary IT resources for accomplishing those objectives. (Ibid.)

CIO Role in Planning Program Management
The CIO shall be included in the internal planning processes for how the agency uses IT resources to achieve its objectives. The CIO shall approve the IT components of any plans, through a process defined by the agency head that balances IT investments with other uses of agency funding. This includes CIO involvement with planning for IT resources at all points in their lifecycle, including operations and disposition or migration. (Ibid.)

CIO Review/Approve Major IT Investment Budget Request
Agency budget justification materials in their initial budget submission to OMB shall include a statement that affirms:

  • The CIO has reviewed and approves the major IT investments portion of this budget request; the CFO and CIO jointly affirm that the CIO had a significant role in reviewing planned IT support for major program objectives and significant increases and decreases in IT resources; and
  • The IT Portfolio (formerly Exhibit 53) includes appropriate estimates of all IT resources included in the budget request. (Ibid.)

Capital Planning and Investment Control (CPIC)
CPIC is a structured approach to managing IT investments. CPIC ensures that IT investments align with the agency’s mission, strategic goals, and objectives, and support business needs, while minimizing risks and maximizing returns throughout the investment’s life cycle. CPIC relies on systematic selection, control, and continual evaluation processes to ensure that the investment’s objectives are met effectively.

Investments in IT can dramatically enhance organizational performance. When carefully managed, IT becomes a critical enabler to improve business processes, makes information widely available, and reduces the cost of providing essential Government services. As IT rapidly evolves, the challenge of realizing its potential benefits also becomes much greater.

Congress and OMB have clearly stated that each executive agency must actively manage its IT program to provide assurances that technology expenditures are necessary and shall result in demonstrated improvements in mission effectiveness and customer service. The Clinger-Cohen Act (CCA) of 1996, Public Law 104 – 106, legislatively mandates that IT investments be prudently managed.

[Agency investment estimates] should reflect the Administration’s commitment to information technology (IT) investments that directly support agency missions as identified in the agency’s Information Resources Management (IRM) Strategic Plan, specified in OMB Circular A-130, which should fully describe all IT resources at the agency, be prepared in a manner consistent with the CIO role and CIO review described on page 11 of OMB memorandum M-15-14 Management and Oversight of Federal IT, including the certification statements described in section 51.3, and be consistent with FITARA and other relevant laws as described by instructions in sections 51.19 and 55. (OMB Circular A-11. Preparation, Submission, and Execution of the Budget. Management Improvement Initiatives and Policies.)

Agency Software Strategies – Centralizing and Improving Software Management
FITARA provides new authorities and responsibilities that CIOs can use to improve their agencies’ IT management policies and practices. To improve covered agencies’ software management practices, CIOs, in coordination with CAOs and CFOs, [must]:

  • [Appoint] a software manager that is responsible for managing, through policy and procedure, all agency-wide commercial and COTS software agreements and licenses. The software manager shall report to the agency CIO and will work in collaboration with the offices of the CIO, CAO, CFO, and other organizations as appropriate.
  • Maintain a continual agency-wide inventory of software licenses, including all licenses purchased, deployed, and in use, as well as spending on subscription services (to include provisional (i.e., cloud) software as a service agreement (SaaS)).
  • Analyze inventory data to ensure compliance with software license agreements, consolidate redundant applications, and identify other cost-saving opportunities. (OMB M-16-12. Category Management Policy 16-1: Improving the Acquisition and Management of Common Information Technology: Software Licensing. June 2016.)

Building a Better Federal Marketplace for Laptops and Desktops
The Category Management Leadership Council (CMLC) established an interagency Workstation Category Team (WCT), led by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and comprised of laptop and desktop computer subject matter experts and managers of large Government-wide and agency- wide hardware contracts. As a result of this work, OMB [determined] that agencies must take immediate steps, described in more detail below, to:

  1. Standardize laptop and desktop configurations for common requirements;
  2. Reduce the number of contracts for laptops and desktops by consolidating purchasing and using a fewer number of high-performing -or best-in-class-contracts; and
  3. Develop and modify demand management processes to optimize price and performance.

The WCT [work] with agency CIOs and the vendor community to identify the attributes of standard or upgraded laptops and desktops every six months beginning in the fourth quarter of FY 2015. Furthermore, the WCT [adds or removes] configurations as necessary to adapt to changing agency needs and market trends, such as the increased use of tablets and the transition from traditional computing to virtual infrastructure. [CIOs shall] ensure that at least 80% of their agency's new basic laptop and desktop requirements are satisfied with one of these standard configurations, unless an exception is consistent with an approved IT acquisition strategy or plan, as required by OMB’s FITARA implementation guidance, and approved in writing by the agency CIO. (OMB M-16-02. Category Management Policy 15-1: Improving the Acquisition and Management of Common Information Technology: Laptops and Desktops. October 2015.)