Homeland security drives local EA development
All federal grants to state and local governments for homeland security will require recipients to demonstrate progress in achieving IT interoperability using Enterprise Architecture (EA) specifically for emergency response organizations. Enterprise Architecture is an enterprise-wide, integrating framework that incorporates several architectures: business (strategy, governance, organization, process); data/information; application (systems); and information technology (IT).
“In the immediate aftermath of 9-11-01, the best intentions of local and federal officials did little to mitigate the ineffectiveness in sharing critical information among law enforcement, public health, intelligence and other public sector communities,” says Ray Bjorklund, vice president of market intelligence at McLean, Va.-based FedSources. “EAs will go a long way toward defining the processes by which governments will be able to adopt interoperable technologies and respond effectively to future emergencies.”
Office of Homeland Security officials met with the Lexington, Ky.-based National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) in August to begin working on state requirements for the Enterprise Architecture. A month earlier, NASCIO released the Enterprise Architecture Development Tool-Kit, version 2.0, which is a guide for state and local agencies in the definition, development, use, maintenance and institutionalization of an EA program. The Tool-Kit includes blueprints for the security and application domains. It was developed by the NASCIO Architecture Working Group, which was composed of state, county and federal CIOs, and government and corporate architects.
EA allows information sharing across traditional barriers, enhances governments’ abilities to deliver effective and timely services, and supports agencies’ efforts to improve government functions. EA also helps identify and optimize the agencies’ interrelated business processes and resulting IT systems. Local governments that are currently implementing or have successfully implemented EA include Philadelphia, San Diego and Fairfax County, Va.
Most of the estimated $1.1 billion for FY2003 in federal grants and other direct assistance for homeland security, for which EA now is required, will be administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The grants will form the foundation for state and local homeland security IT programs.