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entitled 'Executive Office of the President: Analysis of Mandated 
Report on Key Information Technology Areas' which was released on June 
28, 2002.

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June 28, 2002:

The Honorable Byron L. Dorgan:


The Honorable Ben Nighthorse Campbell:

Ranking Minority Member:

Subcommittee on Treasury and General Government:

Committee on Appropriations:

United States Senate:

The Honorable Ernest J. Istook, Jr.


The Honorable Steny H. Hoyer:

Ranking Minority Member:

Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government:

Committee on Appropriations:

House of Representatives:

Subject: Executive Office of the President: Analysis of Mandated Report 

on Key Information Technology Areas:

In the fiscal year 2002 appropriations act covering the Executive 

Office of the President (EOP), [Footnote 1] the Congress limited the 

office’s use of systems modernization funds until EOP submitted a 

report to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations that 

included an enterprise architecture (blueprint for modernization), a 

description of an information technology (IT) capital planning and 

investment control process, a capital investment plan (portfolio of 

planned investments for fiscal year 2003), and an IT human capital plan 

(an approach to meeting strategic human capital needs). As specified in 

the act, the report was to be approved by the Office of Management and 

Budget (OMB) and reviewed by us. 

EOP submitted its enterprise architecture, investment control process 

description, and capital investment plan on March 13, 2002; the IT 

human capital plan followed on March 18, 2002. These submissions 

constitute EOP’s report, which OMB subsequently approved on April 19, 

2002. As we agreed with your offices, our review objective was to 

determine EOP’s progress and plans relative to the four areas covered 

by the report.

To accomplish our objective, we reviewed the EOP report to ensure that 

it satisfied the conditions specified by the Congress, including that 

it addressed each of the key IT management areas cited in the 

legislation. In addition, we met with EOP officials, including the 

Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Deputy CIO, to determine how each 

of the four areas in the report was derived and what plans existed to 

further develop each. In doing so, we obtained and reviewed additional 

management documentation, such as the enterprise architecture 

development plan, descriptions of organizational roles and 

responsibilities, and memoranda relating to actions already under way. 

We also compared the content of the report and the plans for each topic 

area to relevant IT management best practices and federal guidance. 

[Footnote 2] We conducted our work from March 2002 through May 2002 in 

accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 

In summary, EOP has made progress, and it has made plans and future 

commitments relative to each of the four areas addressed in its report. 

First, the office is in the process of developing an officewide 

blueprint for modernizing its operations and supporting technology, 

commonly referred to as an enterprise architecture. Thus far, it has 

developed parts of the architecture, most notably the rules and 

definitions governing the technical characteristics of IT investments 

and explaining EOP-wide technical service categories (e.g., network 

services, security services, etc.). Moreover, the steps it has taken to 

complete the architecture are consistent with recognized best 

practices. For example, these steps include designating a chief 

architect, using an architecture framework and an automated repository 

tool, and having a detailed project management plan.

Second, EOP has taken steps toward defining an officewide IT capital 

planning and investment control process that is to be used to implement 

the enterprise architecture, and these initial steps are also 

consistent with best practices. For example, it has established a 

council that is to have executive representation from across EOP and 

that is intended to function as a corporate investment decision-making 


Third, recognizing that both of these key elements of IT management are 

not yet mature, the office has defined a portfolio of projects in its 

fiscal year 2003 capital investment plan that appropriately focuses on 

correcting existing system problems and introducing infrastructure 

upgrades that are consistent with its defined technical rules and 


Fourth, to facilitate its ongoing and planned efforts to complete the 

enterprise architecture, expand the capital planning and investment 

control process, and manage the implementation of its fiscal year 2002 

and 2003 capital investment plans, EOP has also begun employing 

effective IT human capital management practices. For example, it has 

analyzed its existing human capital capabilities, identified its future 

needs, and is taking steps to address shortfalls, such as hiring new 

staff, training existing staff, and contracting for missing expertise 

and support.

EOP’s efforts at this juncture should be viewed as work in progress, as 

opposed to completed tasks. This means that the office’s modernization 

success largely depends on its ability and resolve in fulfilling its 

plans and commitments in each of these areas. To assist the 

appropriations committees in overseeing EOP’s IT management activities, 

we have highlighted the office’s key commitments in this report.


EOP is a confederation of 12 agencies and offices as well as several 

supporting organizations that provide policy and administrative advice 

and support to the President in his role as Chief Executive and 

Commander in Chief. [Footnote 3] Their missions span such diverse 

matters as the economy, national defense, homeland security, 

environmental quality, domestic policy, drug control policy, federal 

budget formulation and execution, and financial management; the size of 

their organizations ranges from 6 to 600 staff. Despite these 

differences, these offices and agencies share common functions, such as 

the receipt and transfer of information, as well as common 

administrative processes, such as human capital and financial 


One of EOP’s offices is the Office of Administration, which is directed 

by a Special Assistant to the President. The mission of this office is 

to provide EOP-wide administrative services, including financial, human 

capital, IT management, and systems support.

In fiscal year 2002, EOP established a CIO organization within the 

Office of Administration. The CIO office consists of three groups: the 

Information Assurance group, whose mission is to protect information 

throughout the EOP from external and internal threats; the Information 

Systems and Technology group, whose mission is to deliver IT 

capabilities to EOP staff to assist them in efficiently performing 

their daily activities; and the Concepts, Requirements, and Systems 

Engineering group, whose mission is to champion and promote the use of 

an EOP architecture, well-defined system requirements, and structured 

development methods. As is represented by the solid and dotted lines in 

figure 1, the CIO has structured the operations of these three groups 

so that they are individually accountable to the CIO but are to work 

collaboratively in achieving their respective missions.

Figure 1: CIO Organizational Chart:

Source: Executive Office of the President, Office of Administration, 

Information Technology Architecture, 2001 Annual Update , Version 1.0 

(March 1, 2002).

[End of Figure]

Since being established, the CIO organization has been developing and 

implementing various IT management plans and processes. Many of these 

plans and processes are described in the March 2002 report that the 

Director of the Office of Administration submitted in response to the 

legislative direction in the fiscal year 2002 appropriations act. 

[Footnote 4]:

On April 19, 2002, OMB approved EOP’s report to the appropriations 

committees. In its approval letter, OMB stated that the architecture 

and capital planning submissions were an initial step, and that EOP had 

much more work to do in creating a fully defined enterprise 

architecture and associated investment processes. It also stated that 

EOP’s human capital plan conformed to existing concepts and objectives 

driving human capital management in the federal government, but that a 

more robust and integrated human capital planning process should follow 

in parallel with EOP’s future enterprise architecture and capital 

investment planning efforts.

EOP’s Report Addresses Four Key Areas of IT Management:

Each of the four areas discussed in EOP’s report to the appropriations 

committees is a key element of IT management. For each of these four 

areas, a brief description is provided below. (These four areas should 

not be construed as exhaustive, however: other key areas, such as 

system life cycle management processes and computer security, for 

example, are not addressed in EOP’s report or our report.) 

Enterprise architecture: An enterprise architecture is a blueprint for 

operational and systems modernization. In simple terms, an enterprise 

is any purposeful activity, and an architecture is the structure (or 

structural description) of any activity. More specifically, enterprise 

architectures are systematically derived and captured blueprints or 

descriptions--in useful models, diagrams, and narrative--of the mode of 

operation for a given enterprise, which can be (1) a single 

organization or (2) a functional or mission area that transcends more 

than one organizational boundary (e.g., financial management, 

acquisition management, logistics management). The architecture 

describes the enterprise’s operations in both (1) logical terms, such 

as interrelated business processes and business rules, information 

needs and flows, work locations and users, and applications, and (2) 

technical terms, as defined in a technical standards profile and 

technical reference model, [Footnote 5] such as the attributes and 

performance standards of hardware, software, data, communications, and 

security. The architecture provides these perspectives both for the 

enterprise’s current or “as is” environment and for its target or “to 

be” environment, as well as a sequencing plan for moving from the “as 

is” to the “to be” environment.

IT Capital Planning and Investment Control Process: The IT capital 

planning and investment control process is the means by which the 

enterprise architecture is implemented. Under this process, new and 

ongoing projects originate from business and mission needs of the 

components as well as from the sequencing plan for transitioning from 

the current to the target architecture; these projects are proposed as 

part of a portfolio of investment options for approval by one or more 

investment boards. The board(s) make decisions on projects on the basis 

of costs, benefits, and risks, using defined selection criteria, such 

as positive return on investment and appropriate alignment with the 

enterprise architecture and with mission goals and objectives. The 

process also provides for controlling these projects throughout their 

life cycles to ensure that cost and benefit expectations are being met 

and risk is at an acceptable level. As projects are selected and 

controlled under this process, deviations from the architecture may be 

warranted, and these are used as the basis for updating the 


IT Capital Investment Plan: The IT capital investment plan (CIP) is a 

primary output of the capital planning and investment control process. 

The CIP identifies the portfolio of approved IT projects, including 

descriptive information about each project, such as statements of 

mission needs, descriptions of project capabilities, estimates of cost 

and schedule, and projections of return on investment and risk. If the 

CIP is developed within the context of an effective investment 

management process and a well-defined enterprise architecture, each 

project will be linked to mission, goals, and a positive return on 


IT Human Capital Plan: An IT human capital plan is the means by which 

effective CIO organizations ensure that they have the right people on 

board at the right time to successfully deliver IT projects and 

associated services. To be effective, these plans provide for 

inventorying and assessing the organization’s existing knowledge and 

skills set; identifying the knowledge and skill sets needed to 

implement the target enterprise architecture, supporting sequencing 

plan, and annual CIPs; determining the gap between existing 

capabilities and needed capabilities; and defining a strategy for 

filling the gap, such as new hiring, proactive retention, training, and 

use of contractor support.

Enterprise Architecture Progress Is Being Made, and Plans for 

Completion Are in Place:

The importance of developing, implementing, and maintaining an 

enterprise architecture is a basic tenet of effective IT management. 

Used in concert with other IT management controls, such as an IT 

capital planning and investment control process, a well defined and 

applied architecture can appreciably increase the chances that an 

enterprise’s operations and systems will be structured in a way that 

optimizes mission performance. We have found that attempting to 

modernize operations and systems without an architecture leads to 

operational and systems duplication, lack of integration, and 

unnecessary expense. Our best practices research on successful public 

and private sector organizations has similarly identified enterprise 

architectures as essential to effective business and technology 

transformation. [Footnote 6]:

Using our experience and research in enterprise architecture, we teamed 

with the federal CIO Council to produce guidance on effective 

architecture management, including practices that are critical to 

successfully developing one. [Footnote 7] Among other things, this 

guidance emphasizes that the following practices are critical to 

effectively developing an architecture: (1) establishing a steering 

committee to guide and direct the architecture effort and ensuring that 

this committee is composed of executives who represent the entire 

enterprise, (2) designating a chief architect under the CIO to manage 

the architecture effort, (3) using a framework to govern the structure 

and content of the architecture that includes views of the enterprise 

from its business, data, applications, and technology perspectives, 

(4) using an automated tool to capture the content of the architecture, 

and (5) managing the architecture effort as a formal program, including 

having a detailed plan and work breakdown structure.

EOP is satisfying each of these practices. In particular: 

* The Special Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of 

Administration has established an Information Resources Management 

Executive Council, which is intended, among other things, to serve as 

the enterprise architecture steering committee and to ensure that EOP 

business processes are identified and used as the driver in selecting 

and aligning supporting IT projects and initiatives. The council 

membership is to consist of senior executives from 18 different EOP 

customer groups. The council is to be supported by the Enterprise 

Technology Task Force, which is to focus on technical architectural 

issues across the office.

* The Director of Concepts, Requirements, and Systems Engineering, who 

reports to the EOP CIO, is the designated chief architect.

* The chief architect is using the Federal Enterprise Architecture 

Framework, which includes business, data, application, and technology 


* The chief architect is using a commercially available automated 

repository tool to capture EOP’s architectural artifacts.

* The chief architect is managing the architecture effort as a formal 

program. For example, an Enterprise Architecture Development and 

Sustainment Process and Concept of Operations has been developed that 

describes the activities, key players (including their roles and 

responsibilities), and major outputs of the program. Also, a 

development plan has been prepared that includes a detailed breakdown 

of tasks and milestones. Two key milestones against which future 

progress can be measured are the development of a target architecture 

and the development of a plan for sequencing from the baseline to the 

target architecture, both of which are to be completed by September 16, 


In addition to EOP’s plans for completing its enterprise architecture, 

it has already developed certain architectural components. For example, 

EOP has described the current or “as is” business processes and 

information requirements unique to its offices and agencies, as well as 

those shared among several (or all) offices and agencies. It has also 

described the existing networks and infrastructure across the office. 

Further, EOP has defined the principles and goals that are to govern 

the content of its target architecture, and it has defined a technical 

reference model and a technical standards profile to guide and 

constrain near-term investments in its IT infrastructure. For example, 

it has developed standards profiles to govern the characteristics of 

new software and hardware across a number of domains, including 

operating platforms, data management, data interchange, and network 


EOP owes its progress and commitments in enterprise architecture 

largely to the CIO office’s understanding of the importance and value 

of this IT management tool. Assuming that progress continues and the 

architecture development plan is effectively implemented, EOP’s ability 

to effectively invest in IT should benefit from its architecture 


EOP-wide Capital Planning and Investment Control Process Is Planned:

The need for a well-defined and implemented capital planning and 

investment control process, sometimes referred to as an investment 

management process, is also a fundamental tenet of effective IT 

management. Our research on successful public and private sector 

organizations shows that these organizations have institutional and 

disciplined approaches to identifying, selecting, controlling, and 

evaluating IT investments. As this research also shows, the approach of 

these organizations is to establish corporate investment boards with 

responsibility for investment decisionmaking and to link decisions 

about competing investment options to defined criteria, such as mission 

needs and outcomes, return on investment, and investment risk. Using 

this research, we published a framework to assist organizations in 

establishing effective IT investment management processes. [Footnote 8] 

In addition, OMB has issued guidance requiring agencies to have such a 

process. [Footnote 9]:

In developing and executing its fiscal year 2003 CIP and budget 

request, the EOP CIO office has followed a systematic approach to 

identifying, selecting, and controlling its IT project investments. For 

example, EOP identified and selected IT projects based on defined 

criteria, and it mapped each project to one or more IT strategic plan 

goals. As part of the decision criteria, each proposal was to include 

the following elements: 

* project description, including scope, actions to be taken, 

relationship to other systems, and alignment with technical standards 

profile and reference model;

* cost (including capital investment and maintenance) and funding 


* users’ needs to be resolved;

* benefits and returns, including cost and time savings and 

productivity gains; and:

* mission impact if the project is not selected and funded.

Further, the CIO office is using a structured process to control 

project execution. According to the Deputy CIO, project managers are 

required to follow a standard briefing template in reporting monthly to 

the CIO and Deputy CIO on the status of their respective projects. In 

these sessions, project progress is evaluated against cost, schedule, 

and performance commitments; business cases justifying investment in 

the project are examined; and project risks are addressed. 

Recognizing the value of having an EOP-wide investment management 

process, the CIO office plans to extend and expand the existing 

process, so that it includes all EOP IT user groups and makes use, for 

example, of the enterprise architecture now under development. As a 

first step, EOP is in the process of establishing the Information 

Resources Management Executive Council, which is to guide and direct 

definition of this process and also to function as the EOP corporate 

investment board. According to EOP officials, specific plans and 

milestones for defining and implementing an EOP-wide investment 

management process have not yet been established because the office was 

waiting for the council, as an EOP corporate body, to lead this effort. 

According to a CIO official, the council is to convene in June 2002 to 

begin formulating plans. Assuming EOP follows through on its stated 

commitments, it would be in a position to establish a critical 

capability for effectively managing its IT investments.

Current CIP Focuses on Near-Term Needs, Future 

Infrastructure, and IT Management Tools:

In cases where federal agencies have yet to complete an enterprise 

architecture and a corporate investment management process, we have 

recommended that IT investments focus on certain near-term priorities. 

These priorities include projects that introduce enabling IT 

infrastructure and conform to agreed upon technical characteristics and 

service categories; projects that are intended to establish IT 

management capabilities (e.g., the architecture and an investment 

management process); projects that allow the organization to “stay in 

business,” meaning that they correct known performance problems with 

existing systems; and projects that represent low risk and high payoff. 

[Footnote 10]

EOP’s fiscal year 2003 CIP focuses on investments that are consistent 

with our prior recommendations to other agencies. Funding in the CIP is 

devoted to projects that improve the office’s existing IT 

infrastructure. For example, one of the largest planned investments ($5 

million) is for the redesign and relocation of the EOP data center to 

address issues of security and continuity of operations that were 

raised after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Other planned 

infrastructure investments include $1.5 million for customer service 

and desktop systems, and about $1 million for upgrading existing 

network communications.

The narrow focus of the range of projects in the CIP reflects the CIO 

office’s awareness of the kinds of investments that are appropriate at 

this early stage in the office’s IT modernization agenda. According to 

CIO officials, projects aimed at business process reform will not be 

proposed until, for example, the architecture and investment 

decisionmaking process governing such reform are in place. This 

narrowly focused CIP should allow EOP to make the best near-term use of 

its available IT resources and capabilities and allow it to position 

itself for its longer term modernization.

IT Human Capital Plan Is Being Implemented:

As we have previously reported, [Footnote 11] strategic human capital 

centers on viewing people as assets whose value to an organization can 

be enhanced through investment. As the value of its people increases, 

so does the performance capacity of the organization. To maintain and 

enhance the capabilities of IT staff specifically, an organization 

should (1) assess the IT knowledge and skills needed to effectively 

support agency mission goals, (2) inventory the knowledge and skills of 

current IT staff, (3) identify gaps between needs and current 

capabilities, and (4) develop and implement plans to fill the gaps.

EOP officials stated that they recognize the importance of 

understanding the office’s unmet IT human capital requirements and of 

planning how best to acquire, develop, and retain resources to meet 

these requirements. To this end, the office has developed an IT human 

capital plan for meeting these requirements, based on (1) a definition 

of needed IT knowledge and skills, (2) an inventory of its current IT 

workforce knowledge and skills, and (3) a gap analysis of shortfalls. 

More specifically, EOP’s CIO office used its planned IT initiatives and 

projects, combined with the perspectives of senior CIO staff, to 

identify 14 core knowledge and skill areas needed to support current 

and future operations. For example, its analysis showed that the CIO 

organization is becoming increasingly reliant on contractor support, 

and that improvements in project management and contractor oversight 

capabilities were needed. Accordingly, both are now included in the 14 

core knowledge and skill competencies. The CIO office then surveyed and 

summarized the knowledge and skill sets of onboard staff (government 

and contractor), including their technical training and certification 

and years of experience. Next, a gap analysis was performed that 

compared the needed IT knowledge and skills with the inventory of 

current IT workforce knowledge and skills. Using this analysis, the CIO 

office identified shortfalls in nine areas, including project 

management, enterprise architecture, and staff support for the data 

center. With respect to project management, for example, the analysis 

identified project management as the primary role of the CIO office’s 

government staff, and recognized the need for skills in such project 

management areas as managing people, planning, documenting, project 

performance, cost analysis, and risk management.

To begin addressing human capital shortfalls, EOP has developed a plan 

consisting of various initiatives, most of which are under way. For 

example, it has begun training staff in project management, contractor 

oversight, and enterprise architecture management. It plans to hire 

additional government staff and intends to fill the remaining gaps in 

IT knowledge and skill sets using contractor staff, once it has re-

competed its systems engineering and technical assistance contract, 

which expires in September 2002.

Moreover, the CIO office has made several future commitments that 

recognize the need to continually evaluate its needs and develop and 

retain its IT human capital in order to support EOP’s mission. These 


* assessing the effect on IT human capital capabilities of each 

architecture update or organizational realignment;

* maintaining the existing staff knowledge and skills inventory;

* working with each staff member to ensure that CIO organizational 

goals and objectives are understood, identifying individual training 

needs, and developing training plans; and:

* providing training in core skills and knowledge areas using in- house 

expertise and outside resources.

EOP owes its progress and commitments in IT human capital largely to 

the CIO office’s understanding of the importance and value of this 

strategic asset. Assuming that progress continues and plans are 

effectively implemented, EOP’s ability to effectively invest in IT 

should benefit from its IT human capital program.

Concluding Observations:

EOP and OMB have satisfied their legislative requirements to report to 

the appropriation committees on certain IT management areas and to 

approve the report, respectively. In doing so, they have recognized 

that EOP has work remaining to mature in each of these areas. This is 

consistent with the results of our analysis. To this end, EOP has made 

plans and future commitments, which can be used to measure its progress 

in each area.

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation:

In oral comments on a draft of this report, the Associate Counsel to 

the President stated that EOP’s CIO was satisfied with the substance of 

the report and that the White House had no substantive comments. The 

Associate Counsel provided additional information on EOP agencies and 

offices. We have incorporated this information into the report as 


We are sending copies of this report to the Chairmen and Ranking 

Minority Members of other Senate and House committees and subcommittees 

that have appropriations, authorization, and oversight 

responsibilities for EOP. We are also sending copies to the Director of 

the EOP Office of Administration, the EOP CIO, and the OMB Director. 

Copies will also be made available to others upon request.:

Should you or your staff have any questions on matters discussed in 

this report, please contact me at (202) 512-3439. I can also be reached 

by E-mail at . Major contributors of this report include 

William G. Barrick, Barbara Collier, Larry E. Crosland, Lester P. 

Diamond, Richard B. Hung, and David L. McClure. 

Randolph C. Hite:

Director, Information Technology Architecture and Systems Issues:

Signed by Randolph C. Hite.



[1] Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 

2002 (Public Law 107-67).

[2] Chief Information Officers Council, Architecture Alignment and 

Assessment Guide, (October 2000); Chief Information Officers Council, A 

Practical Guide to Federal Enterprise Architecture, Version 1.0 

(February 2001); Office of Management and Budget, Management of Federal 

Information Resources, Circular No. A-130 (November 30, 2000); U.S. 

General Accounting Office, Information Technology Investment 

Management: A Framework for Assessing and Improving Process Maturity, 

Exposure Draft, GAO/AIMD-10.1.23 (Washington D.C.: May 2001). U.S. 

General Accounting Office, Human Capital: Attracting and Retaining a 

High-Quality Information Technology Workforce, GAO-02-113T 

(Washington, D.C.: October 4, 2001).

[3] The agencies/offices are the White House Office (includes, for 

example, the Office of Homeland Security), Office of the Vice 

President, Council on Environmental Quality, Office of Management and 

Budget, Office of Policy Development, President’s Foreign Intelligence 

Advisory Board, Office of Administration, Office of Science and 

Technology Policy, Office of National Drug Control Policy, National 

Security Council, Council of Economic Advisors, and the U.S. Trade 

Representative; the supporting organizations include the White House 

Communications Agency, a support office of the General Services 

Administration, the U. S. Secret Service, and the White House Branch of 

the U.S. Postal Service.

[4] Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 

2002 (Public Law 107-67).

[5] As defined in a guide on enterprise architectures published by the 

CIO Council, a technical standards profile is the set of rules that 

govern system implementation and operation; a technical reference model 

is a taxonomy of enterprise service areas, interface categories, and 

relationships to address interoperability and open-systems issues.

[6] U.S. General Accounting Office, Executive Guide: Improving Mission 

Performance through Strategic Information Management and Technology, 

GAO/AIMD-94-115 (Washington, D.C.: May 1994).

[7] Chief Information Officers Council, Architecture Alignment and 

Assessment Guide (October 2000); Chief Information Officers Council, A 

Practical Guide to Federal Enterprise Architecture, Version 1.0 

(February 2001).

[8] GAO/AIMD-10.1.23. 

[9] Office of Management and Budget, Management of Federal Information 

Resources, Circular No. A-130 (November 30, 2000).

[10] See, for example, U.S. General Accounting Office, Information 

Technology: INS Needs to Strengthen Its Investment Management 

Capability, GAO-01-146 (Washington, D.C.: December 29, 2000), and U.S. 

General Accounting Office, Tax Administration: IRS’ Fiscal Year 1999 

Budget Request and Fiscal Year 1998 Filing Season, GAO/T-GGD/AIMD-98-

114 (Washington, D.C.: March 31, 1998).

[11] GAO-02-113T.