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1.2.2 CIO Responsibilities - OMB Guidance

1.2 IT Strategic Planning

1.2.2 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 strategic planning. 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.

Streamlining of Agency Reporting
To improve the outcomes of PortfolioStat and to advance agency IT portfolio management, OMB is consolidating previously collected IT plans, reports and data calls into four primary collection channels:

Information Resources Management (IRM) Strategic Plans, Capital Planning and Investment Control (CPIC), Enterprise Roadmap and Integrated Data Collection.

Information Resources Management (IRM) Strategic Plans
According to Circular A-130, “Information Resources Management (IRM) Strategic Plans should support the agency Strategic Plan required in OMB Circular A-11, and provide a description of how information resources management activities help accomplish agency missions, and ensure that information resource management decisions are integrated with organizational planning, budget, procurement, financial management, human resources management, and program decisions.” (OMB Circular A-130. Managing Information as a Strategic Resource. Policy. July 2016.) In addition to requirements established in OMB Circular A-130, IRM Strategic Plans must now be signed by the Agency COO. At “each agency the deputy head of agency, or equivalent, shall be the [COO] and as needed the head of the agency may make adjustments to the strategic plan to reflect significant changes in the environment in which the agency is operating with appropriate notification of Congress.” (Public Law 107-296. GPRA Modernization Act of 2010. Agency Strategic Plans.)

[Agencies are] required to address the specific requirements that are defined in Appendix A of OMB Memorandum M-13-09. (OMB M-13-09. Fiscal Year 2013 PortfolioStat Guidance: Strengthening Federal IT Portfolio Management. March 2013.)

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 Information Technology, (Management and Oversight of Federal Information Technology) including the certification statements described in section 51.3, and be consistent with the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) and other relevant laws as described by instructions in sections 51.19 and 55. (OMB Circular A-11. Preparing, Submitting and Executing the Budget. July 2020.)

Enterprise Roadmap
In alignment with the IRM Strategic Plan, the Enterprise Roadmap documents an agency’s current and future views of its business and technology environment from an architecture perspective. It does so by reflecting the implementation of new or updated business capabilities and enabling technologies that support the agency’s strategic goals and initiatives. It also contains a transition plan to show the sequence of actions needed to implement the IRM Strategic plan. Moreover, it focuses on increasing shared approaches to IT service delivery across mission, support, and commodity areas.

See also Appendix A, Additional Information Resources Management (IRM) Strategic Plan and Enterprise Roadmap Reporting Requirements. (Ibid.)

Integrated Data Collection (IDC)
[OMB established] an Integrated Data Collection channel for agencies to report structured information. Agencies will use this channel to report agency progress in meeting IT strategic goals, objectives and metrics as well as cost savings and avoidances resulting from IT management actions. This data includes information previously reported by agencies as well as data which agencies [should have reported] by May 15, 2013 and then update every three months thereafter. Subsequent updates will be on the last day of August, November, and February of subsequent fiscal years. Appendix B provides more detail on this Integrated Data Collection and a link to reporting instructions and guidance for the May 15, 2013 deadline. This Integrated Data Collection will draw on information previously reported under PortfolioStat, the FDCCI, the Federal Digital Government Strategy, quarterly Federal Information Security Management Act metrics, the Federal IT Dashboard, and selected human resource, financial management, and procurement information requested by OMB.(OMB M-13-09. Fiscal Year 2013 PortfolioStat Guidance: Strengthening Federal IT Portfolio Management. March 2013.)

Open Data Policy Requirements
Agencies management of information resources must begin at the earliest stages of the planning process, well before information is collected or created. Early strategic planning will allow the Federal Government to design systems and develop processes that unlock the full value of the information and provide a foundation from which agencies can continue to manage information throughout its life cycle.

Build Information Systems to Support Interoperability and Information Accessibility
Through their acquisition and technology management processes, agencies must build or modernize information systems in a way that maximizes interoperability and information accessibility, to the extent practicable and permitted by law. Agencies must exercise forethought when architecting, building, or substantially modifying an information system to facilitate public distribution, where appropriate. In addition, the agency’s CIO must validate that the following minimum requirements have been incorporated into acquisition planning documents and technical design for all new information systems and those preparing for modernization, as appropriate:

  • The system design must be scalable, flexible, and facilitate extraction of data in multiple formats and for a range of uses as internal and external needs change, including potential uses not accounted for in the original design. In general, this will involve the use of standards and specifications in the system design that promote industry best practices for information sharing, and separation of data from the application layer to maximize data reuse opportunities and incorporation of future application or technology capabilities, in consultation with the best practices found in Project Open Data. (OMB M-13-13. Open Data Policy-Managing Information as an Asset. May 2013.)
  • The 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (IDEA) (H.R.5759 - 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act) aims to improve the digital experience for government customers and reinforces existing requirements for federal public websites. Specifically, the Act requires all executive branch agencies to
    1. Modernize their websites,
    2. Digitize services and forms,
    3. Accelerate use of e-signatures,
    4. Improve customer experience,
    5. Standardize and transition to centralized shared services, and
    6. Comply with website standards using the U.S Web Design Systems (GSA. U.S. Web Design System (USWDS).)