Barry McVay's FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH
DATE: April 14, 2000
FROM: Barry McVay, CPCM
SUBJECT: OMB Circular A-130, Management of Federal Information Resources
SOURCE: Federal Register, April 13, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 72, page 19933
AGENCIES: Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Executive Office of the President
ACTION: Proposed Revision
SYNOPSIS: OMB is proposing to revise Circular No. A-130 to implement provisions of the Clinger-Cohen Act (Division E of Public Law 104-106, the Fiscal Year 1996 Defense Authorization Act) concerning information systems and information technology management, and to follow more closely OMB Circular A-11, Preparation and Submission of Budget Estimates, which addresses the acquisition, use, and disposal of information technology as a capital asset by the federal government.
EDITOR'S NOTE: OMB Circulars A-130 and A-11 are available at the OMB site http://www.whitehouse.gov/OMB/circulars.
DATES: Submit comments on or before May 19, 2000.
ADDRESSES: Submit comments to Information Policy and Technology Branch, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10236, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503, or e-mail comments to Afirstname.lastname@example.org.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tony Frater, Information Policy and Technology Branch, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10236, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503, 202-395-3785.
SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: The Clinger-Cohen Act grants OMB various authorities for overseeing the acquisition, use, and disposal of information technology by the federal government. It supplements the information resources management policies contained in the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) by establishing a comprehensive approach to improving the acquisition and management of agency information systems through work process redesign, and by linking planning and investment strategies to the budget process.
The Clinger-Cohen Act establishes clear accountability for IRM activities by creating agency Chief Information Officers (CIOs) with the authority and management responsibility necessary to advise agency heads and oversee the design, development, and implementation of information systems.
To provide agencies with additional guidance on implementing the Clinger-Cohen Act, OMB proposes to revise Circular No. A-130, which contains the policy framework for the management of federal information resources. Since the last revision of OMB Circular A-130 in 1996, Congress passed Public Law 104-231, the Electronic Freedom of Information Act (EFOIA). Among other changes, the EFOIA added a new subsection (g) to the FOIA to reinforce the PRA requirement that agencies maintain an inventory of their major information systems and an information locator service. Also, the EFOIA requires agencies to maintain a handbook that explains how persons may obtain public information from the agency in accordance with the FOIA and the PRA.
The following is a summary of the major proposed changes to OMB Circular A-130:
- Section 3, Authorities: This section would cite the Clinger-Cohen Act and Executive Order 13011, Federal Information Technology, dated July 6, 1996.
- Section 5, Background: A discussion of the basic principles and goals of the Clinger-Cohen Act would be added.
- Section 6, Definitions: The terms "capital planning and investment control process", "Chief Information Officers Council", "executive agency", and "Information Technology Resources Board" would be added. Also, "information technology" would be amended to reflect definitional changes made by the Clinger-Cohen Act, and the term "national security system" would cite the limitations placed on OMB Circular A-130's applicabililty to such systems by the Clinger-Cohen Act's Section 5141, Applicability to National Security Systems.
- Section 7, Basic Considerations and Assumptions: Subsection (r) would be added to reflect the relevant goals and purposes of the Clinger-Cohen Act and Executive Order 13011: "The development and operation of interagency and interoperable shared information resources to support the performance of government missions should be supported by the Chief Information Officers Council and the Information Technology Resources Board."
- Section 8a, Information Management Policy: Paragraph (3), Electronic Information Collection, would be revised to reflect the Government Paperwork Elimination Act (Public Law 105-277, Title XVII), which was enacted in October 1998: "Executive agencies under Sections 1703 and 1705 the Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA), Public Law 105-277, Title XVII, are required to provide, by October 21, 2003, the (1) option of the electronic maintenance, submission, or disclosure of information, when practicable as a substitute for paper; and (2) use and acceptance of electronic signatures, when practicable. Agencies will follow the provisions in OMB guidance, Implementation of the Government Paperwork Elimination Act." (EDITOR'S NOTE: OMB published proposed guidance to implement the GPEA on March 5, 1999, and is preparing the final guidance, which is expected to be issued soon.)
- Section 8b, Information Systems and Information Technology Management: This section would be substantially revised. Sections 8b(1), 8b(2), and 8b(3) would be merged into a new Section 8b(1) to better integrate requirements under the Clinger-Cohen Act, the Government Performance and Results Act (Public Law 103-62), and OMB Circular A-11. Also, it would stress the need to redesign work processes before making significant investments in automation, and the need to evaluate commercial off-the-shelf ("COTS") software as part of the capital planning process. In addition, this section would incorporate requirements for information technology accessibility by persons with disabilities that had previously been included in the Federal Information Resource Management Regulations (FIRMR), which was repealed by the Clinger-Cohen Act. (EDITOR'S NOTE: On March 31, 2000, the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board proposed accessibility standards for electronic and information technology which requires that federal agencies develop, procure, maintain, and use technology that allows federal employees and members of the public with disabilities to have access to data and information comparable to that provided to non-disabled employees and members of the public. The Board has been coordinating with the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council to have the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) amended to reflect the standards when they are finalized.)
- Section 9a, All Federal Agencies: This would be modified to add a new Subsection 9a(3), Chief Information Officer (CIO), to reflect the CIO position created by the Clinger-Cohen Act and to describe the position's responsibilities (along with new Subsections 9a(12), (13), (14), and (15)). Also, new Subsection 9a(14) would encourage agencies to "permit, to the extent practicable, the use of one agency's contract by another agency or the award of multi-agency contracts, provided the action is within the scope of the contract and consistent with OMB guidance."
- Section 9b, Department of State: It would be revised to reflect the responsibilities described in the Clinger-Cohen Act and Executive Order 13011: liaison, consultation, and negotiation with foreign governments and intergovernmental organizations on matters related to information resources management.
- Section 9c, Department of Commerce: Paragraph (1) would require agencies and the CIO Council to make recommendations, as appropriate, to the Secretary of Commerce regarding Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) development.
- Section 9e, General Services Administration (GSA): It would be revised to reflect GSA no longer performs policy and oversight functions with the enactment of the Clinger-Cohen Act. Nevertheless, GSA will continue to provide services, training, and assistance as requested by the agencies and OMB.
- Section 9h, Office of Management and Budget: This section would be revised to reflect OMB's responsibilities as assigned by the Clinger-Cohen Act, and to state that OMB will provide guidance on the implementation of the Clinger-Cohen Act and on the management of information resources to the executive agencies, to the CIO Council, and to the Information Technology Resources Board. It would also direct OMB to "designate one or more heads of executive agencies as executive agent for government-wide acquisitions of information technology."
- Appendix II, Information Technology Architecture: This would be added to provide the minimum criteria for an agency Information Technology Architecture (ITA) to comply with the Clinger-Cohen Act and OMB guidance.
- Appendix IV, Analysis of Key Sections: It would be amended to incorporate the guidance that OMB issued to agencies in April 1998 on implementing the EFOIA's handbook requirement.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barry McVay at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to BarryMcVay@FedGovContracts.com.
Copyright 2000 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.
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