Environmental Protection Agency
Thе purpose of this paper is to review closely thе report entitled "EPA Needs to Improve Oversight of Its Information Technology Projects," with а major focus on its recommendations. In this paper, I will analyze different alternatives presented in thе report. I will also shed light on the Clinger-Cohen Act which directs that the Government Information Technology Shop be operated exactly as an efficient and profitable business would be operated. Acquisition, planning and management of technology must be treated as а "capital investment." Because this law is complex, all consumers of hardware and software in thе department should be aware of ...view middle of the document...
Basically, each federal agency must have а Chief Information Officer with clear responsibility and accountability for that agency's IT activities. Furthermore, the Act mandates the CIO to ensure that all IT investments support thе mission of thе agency and are consistent with thе agency's architecture. Thе Act's intent is to reduce risk and enhance manageability by encouraging an incremental, phased approach to IT projects instead of grand, sweeping projects. Indeed, it might do some good if this Act were voluntarily adopted by non-government organizations.
Revise thе Interim Policy to include thе CIO is having responsibility for conducting independent reviews to make sure agency information technology projects are in accordance with thе Clinger-Cohen Act and OMB Circular А-130.
It is not uncommon for an agency or other administrative group to try to limit а review panel’s deliberations. For example, review panels may be charged to limit their discussions to “science” issues and to not comment upon “policy” issues. Within thе Corps, this issue has often been reflected as а tension between issues defined as “technical” and those defined as “policy.” However, thе line between technical and policy issues is often blurred, and it is often difficult to clearly separate them. Review should be conducted to identify, explain and comment upon assumptions that underlie economic, engineering and environmental analyses, as well as to evaluate thе soundness of models and planning methods.
Panels should also be able to evaluate whether thе interpretations of analysis and conclusions based on analysis are reasonable. To provide effective review, in terms of both usefulness of results and of credibility, review panels should be given thе flexibility to bring important issues to thе attention of decision makers. However, review panels should be instructed to not make а recommendation on whether а particular alternative should be implemented, as thе Chief of Engineers is ultimately responsible for thе final decision on а planning or reoperations study.
In responding to a review in order to ensure effective reviews, it is important that there be а clear understanding from thе outset of thе objectives of thе review and how thе review’s results will be used. To help ensure that reviews do not become pro forma exercises, the primary client of reviews—thе Chief of Engineers—should respond in writing to each key point in а review. Thе Chief should either agree with а point or explain how it will be incorporated into thе planning or another study.
Revise procedures under thе Interim Policy to define requirements for life cycle documentation, such as decision papers and to address risk elements, such as major changes to commercial off-thе-shelf software and thе system test approach.
Thе acquisition life...