Federal Line of Business Initiatives: An Introduction
Like the prior administration, the Bush Administration has been expanding electronic government for several years. As part of this, the White House has been working on ways to improve how the government provides services internally and to citizens, businesses, and state and local governments. This lead to the so-called Lines of Business initiatives.
The Line of Business initiative grew out of a government-wide analysis of lines of business that support the President's Management Agenda and the advancement of electronic government.
The term "Lines of Business" can be confusing, because it refers to TWO different sets of ideas in the federal process for setting spending priorities and budget items. It's important for IT manager, and the vendors who sell to the government, to understand the two different concepts, and to know which concept the government is talking about at any given time. Here are the two different meanings for "Line of Business."
Current Major Lines of Business
The White House has outline nine major Lines of Business as part of the President's Management Agenda. These nine are the high-priority areas that agencies are expected to consider and address as they make their IT spending decisions and project requests.
These are the nine LOBs that receive top presidential endorsement.
a) The original six LOBs from previous budget cycles:
b) Three LOBs were added to the top list in 2006:
Other Official Lines of Business
As part of the federal budget process for proposed IT projects, every line item in the Exhibit 300s (a detailed project report that each agency must file with the Office of Management and Budget as part of their budget requests) must include details on the "line of business" address by each line item in their IT budget request. These exhibits include details on Planning, Budgeting, Acquisition of Capital Assets, etc.
The full 39 LOBs are as follows:
- Information Technology Management
- Defense and National Security
- Supply Chain Management
- Financial Management
- Homeland Security
- Human Resource Management
- General Government
- Community and Social Services
- Law Enforcement
- General Science and Innovation
- Environmental Management
- Planning and Resource Allocation
- Administrative Management
- Natural Resources
- Income Security
- Controls and Oversight
- Intelligence Operations
- Public Affairs
- Economic Development
- Disaster Management
- Revenue Collection
- Workforce Management
- Correctional Activities;
- Litigation and Judicial Activities
- International Affairs and Commerce
- Internal Risk Management and Mitigation
- Regulatory Development
- Knowledge Creation & Management
- Transfers to States and Local Governments
- Credit and Insurance
- Federal Financial Assistance
- Public Good Creation & Management
- Direct Services For Citizens
- Legislative Relations
- "Other" Business Area & LOB
History of the Federal Line of Business Initiatives
In the fall of 2001 the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Federal agencies identified 24 E-Government Initiatives. Operated and supported by agencies, these Initiatives are providing high-quality and well-managed solutions for tax filing, federal rule-making and e-training among others. The 24 are divided among four key portfolios: Government to Citizen, Government to Business, Government to Government, and Internal Efficiency and Effectiveness. E-Authentication is a separate initiative that provides secure and robust authentication services to the 24 Initiatives.
In the spring of 2004, OMB announced the formation of five Line of Business task forces. These five Initiatives were identified by a thorough review of agency enterprise architecture data. The task forces are analyzing this data to identify ways in which services commonly found in numerous agencies can be provided in a more efficient manner.
In the spring of 2005, OMB kicked off the Information Technology (IT) Security Line of Business task force. This task force is working toward identifying problems and proposing solutions to strengthen the ability of all agencies to identify and manage information security risks, as well as implementing improved, consistent, and measurable information security processes and controls across government. The task force is also looking for opportunities for savings or cost-avoidance through reduced duplication and economies of scale.
The following links provide detailed information on each LOB.
A report from the Government Accountability Office , intitled INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Agencies Need to Improve the Accuracy and Reliability of Investment Information Report # GAO-06-250 states that the Exhibit 300 reports filed by each agency should be used justify each request for a major information technology (IT) investment. Specifically, the exhibit's content should reflect controls that agencies have established to ensure good project management, as well as showing that they have defined cost, schedule, and performance goals, but many agencies are falling short and not providing enough detail or return on investment information.
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