DC Meltdown & Role of EA in establishing ‘Accountability’ in Federal IT Spending

By Srinidhi Boray

As the Wall Street melts down, so does the DC. One quick survey and it will yield how lacking many big institutions are. Catering to the IT market are bandied many large IT vendors. It is a cartel, that systematically eats out the tax payers money. The federal spending on IT system runs into Billions and Billions of Dollars. Check out http://www.usaspending.gov/.  It is a systemic parasitic process. Large institutions like FDIC, etc have intentionally avoided any systematic process that would render the IT related spending into accountable and transparent scheme of works. Instead, they relied on process that would create obfuscation with the hope that their actions would go buried deep in the morass that complexities inherently would introduce.

In the federal sector, The Clinger Cohen Act was established to bring in greater accountability in addition to several other things.  Importantly Enterprise Architecture is the medium to be used for creating transparent plans. At FDIC at least in spirit if not in letter, policy was established to follow Federal Enterprise Architecture as the basis for IT Planning. But in order to allow unfounded agendas to progress unhindered by the accountability requiring process, internal circular was issued allowing them to cast aside the Federal Enterprise Architecture based mechanism that would bring the IT expenditure under the purview of OMB. The contentiojn was that they are not a federal agency but a quasi-federal enterprise, that functions like a private corporate. Similar such ham-handed approaches were taken at Fannie and Freddie.  Hundreds and Millions of Dollars have been spent on IT touting modernization and transformative efforts. And, what do we see in the end? 

Link to Campbell Brown’s article on CNN

“”What’s amazing to me is that the administration seems a little surprised that Congress and the American people are not marching in lockstep with them on this and not fully appreciating the urgency.

Well here’s why, in one word: accountability.””””


Going forward, that now Fannie and Freddie have directly come under Federal administration, hopefully accountability creating systematic process will be established based on the Federal Enterprise Architecture guidance, should they survive as behemoths.


One comment

  1. http://www.fdicig.gov/reports06/06-022-508-footnotes.shtml

    Footnote 61: The FDIC has determined that the Clinger-Cohen Act does not apply to the FDIC. The Clinger-Cohen Act imposes obligations and responsibilities on “executive agencies” as defined in the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act, which does not include the FDIC. However, the FDIC has indicated that it intends to follow the spirit of the Act.

    Footnote 62: The Act requires most federal agencies, including the FDIC, to develop a strategic plan that broadly defines the agency’s mission and vision, an annual performance plan that translates the vision and goals of the strategic plan into measurable objectives, and an annual performance report that compares actual results against planned goals.

    Footnote 63: The FDIC has determined that the portions of this Act that are applicable to government corporations are also applicable to the FDIC.

    Footnote 64: The Act, which is applicable to the FDIC, requires agencies to have appropriate administrative, technical and physical safeguards over the security and confidentiality of agency records

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