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Federal Enterprise Architecture

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Definitions Edit

The Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA or Federal EA) is:

[a] strategic information asset base, which defines the business, the information necessary to operate the business, the technologies necessary to support the business operations, and the transitional processes necessary for implementing new technologies in response to the changing business needs. It is a representation or blueprint.[1]
[a] business-based framework for governmentwide improvement developed by the Office of Management and Budget that is intended to facilitate efforts to transform the federal government to one that is citizen-centered, results-oriented, and market-based.[2]
an initiative of the US Office of Management and Budget that aims to comply with the Clinger-Cohen Act and provide a common methodology for information technology (IT) acquisition in the United States federal government. It is designed to ease sharing of information and resources across federal agencies, reduce costs, and improve citizen services.[3]

Overview Edit

In February 2002, OMB established the FEA program. According to OMB, the FEA is intended to provide a common frame of reference or taxonomy for agencies' individual enterprise architecture efforts and their planned and ongoing information technology investment activities.

An enterprise architecture is a blueprint, defined largely by interrelated models, that describes (in both business and technology terms) an entity's "as is" or current environment, its "to be" or future environment, and its investment plan for transitioning from the current to the future environment. It is designed to ensure that IT investments support the functions of government, rather than allowing technology choices determine how the government carries out its operations.

The FEA is composed of six "reference models" describing the federal government’s

(1) business (or mission) processes and functions, independent of the agencies that perform them;
(2) performance goals and outcome measures;
(3) means of service delivery;
(4) information and data definitions; and
(5) technology standards.

The reference models are intended to inform agency efforts to develop their agency-specific enterprise architectures and enable agencies to ensure that their proposed investments are not duplicative with those of other agencies and to pursue, where appropriate, joint projects.

As a whole, the FEA is intended to

enable the federal government to identify opportunities to leverage technology to:
  • reduce redundancy;
  • facilitate horizontal (cross-federal) and vertical (federal, state, and local) information sharing;
  • establish a direct relationship between IT and mission/program performance to support citizen-centered, customer-focused government; and
  • maximize IT investments to better achieve mission outcomes.[4]

References Edit

  1. Chief Information Officers Council, Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework, Version 1.1, at C-5 (Sept. 1999).
  2. NIST Special Publication 800-53, App. B, Glossary.
  3. California Technology Agency, Enterprise Architecture Glossary 4 (Apr. 2011) (full-text).
  4. Office of Management and Budget, "Expanding E-Government: Improved Service Delivery for the American People Using Information Technology" 2 (Dec. 2005); Office of Management and Budget, "Analytical Perspectives, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2006" 178 (Feb. 2005).

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