GAO: Agencies have EA implementation gaps, but blame OMB
Almost all agencies have established goals for their enterprise architecture, but executing on those goals is another challenge entirely, according to a Government Accountability Office report (.pdf) published Sept. 26.
All 27 agencies reviewed in the report have fully or partially-defined goals, but only 11 have fully or partially established metrics for assessing their architectures and only five have fully or partially measured outcomes and benefits, say report authors.
The only agency that lacks fully-defined goals--only meeting 'partially-defined' criteria--for enterprise architecture is the Veterans Affairs Department.
The Health and Human Services Department, Housing and Urban Development and the Agency for International Development are the only agencies with fully-established metrics. In fact, USAID is the only agency with all three reporting criteria: fully-formed goals, metrics, and reporting on enterprise architecture.
In response to auditors, agencies cited insufficient guidance from the Office of Management and Budget as a key reason metrics and measurement of enterprise architecture efforts are lacking.
In May OMB published a memorandum (.pdf) to agencies titled "Common Approach to Federal Enterprise Architecture," which required agencies to submit to OMB buy Aug. 31 an enterprise architecture roadmap for fiscal 2012 to 2015. The Federal Chief Enterprise Architect told auditors OMB also plans to provide agencies detailed guidance on measuring enterprise architecture value by December 2012.
"OMB's forthcoming guidance is an opportunity to overcome the absence of detailed directions to agencies on how they can measure and report enterprise architecture strategic value," write authors.
The audit recommends the OMB guidance provide sufficient detail on the "method, and metrics that agencies could use to measure their architecture program's value" and reporting "on the outcomes and benefits achieved through enterprise architecture."
Federal Chief Enterprise Architect Scott Bernard responded agreed with GAO recommendations in response by email and oral comments, say authors.
- download the report, GAO-12-791 (.pdf)