MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS
Alice M. Rivlin
Implementation of the Information Technology Management
Reform Act of 1996
This memorandum provides preliminary guidance to Federal agencies on
the implementation of the Information Technology Management Reform Act of
1996 (ITMRA), Pub. L. 104106, which President Clinton signed into law on
February 10, 1996. ITMRA repeals Section 111 of the Federal Property and
Administrative Services Act of 1949 (popularly referred to as the "Brooks
Act") and establishes a new statutory scheme for information technology
management and acquisition within the Executive branch. The Act's provisions
take effect on August 8, 1996, 180 days after enactment. This memorandum
addresses two areas -- the designation of the chief information officer (CIO)
and the role of the General Services Board of Contract Appeals (GSBCA) in
information technology protests.
In addition to this memorandum, OMB Circulars will be revised to provide
further guidance to agencies. OMB will seek agency and public comment of
draft revisions to Circular A130, "Management of Federal Information
Resources," so that these revisions will be final by early August 1996. In
addition, OMB Circular A-l l, "Preparation and Submission of Budget
Estimates," will be revised as part of the annual update of that Circular.
Agency Chief Information Officers
Section 5125(a) of ITMRA amends Section 3506 of the Paperwork Reduction
Act of 1996 (PRA), Pub. L. 104-13, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, by establishing the
position of Chief Information Officer in place of the designated senior of
official for information resources management previously established by the
PRA. This provision is intended to establish clear accountability for agency
information resources management activities, provide for greater coordination
among the agency's information activities, and ensure greater visibility of
such activities within each agency.
One of the most important responsibilities of the CIO is to promote
effective agency operations by implementing budget-linked capital planning
for, and performance-based management of, information technology systems.
Under the ITMRA, agencies are to determine, before making an investment in a
new information system to support a particular function, whether the function
should be performed or supported by the private sector or another agency.
Agencies should also, where appropriate, reorganize and revise the way a
function is performed to improve its effectiveness before making significant
IT investments to support that work. To ensure that these strategic issues
are addressed by the agency, the Act makes the CIO explicitly responsible for
promoting improvements in agency work processes.
The CIO is also charged with facilitating the development, implementation,
and maintenance of a sound and integrated information technology architecture
for the agency, and promoting the effective design and operation of all major
information resources management processes. The duties of the CIO are set
forth at section S 125(c) of the ITMRA.
Designation and Organizational Placement of the Chief information Officer.
Each agency head is expected to select and position a CIO to ensure
the effective acquisition and use of IT and to carry out the agency's
information resources management responsibilities. While the organizational
placement of the CIO is to be determined by the agency head, the person
selected should report to the agency head directly, and not through another
official. The CIO must actively participate, with the agency head and other
senior agency officials, in planning and budgeting deliberations, support of
work process redesign in areas being considered for IT investment, and the
development of information technology program performance measures.
Consistent with the ITMRA for the agencies listed in the Attachment,
information resources management shall be the primary duty of the CIO.
The agency head may designate as the CIO any individual who has the
professional qualifications and experience required for the duties of the
position. The position may be filled by recruiting and appointing someone
from outside the agency, by the current senior information resources
management official, or by someone holding another position in the agency.
Agencies may also establish CIOs for major subcomponents or bureaus, and
may also appoint deputy CIOs that have additional experience in work process
redesign, design and management of information technology architectures, and
data and telecommunications management.
Relation to Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
The head of the agency is responsible for defining the operating relationship
between the CIO and CFO functions and ensuring coordination in the implementation
of the ITMRA, the PRA, the Chief Financial Officers Act, and the Government
Performance and Results Act. The CFO continues to be responsible for
developing, implementing, and maintaining the financial management systems as
provided for in the CFO Act. In agencies where financial systems represent a
substantial part of the agency's information systems portfolio, it may be
appropriate for the same person to serve as both CIO and CFO, so long as the
mix of the CFO/CIO duties and qualifications is consistent with the intent of
ITMRA. Finally, Section S 126 of the 11 ITMRA encourages the CIO and CFO to
work together under the direction of the agency head to ensure that the
agency's information systems provide reliable, consistent, and timely program
By August 8, 1996, the head of each agency shall designate its Chief
Information Officer, as required by ITMRA and the PRA.
Each agency listed in the Attachment should consult with the OMB Deputy
Director for Management prior to establishing and filling the position, and
provide the following information:
the CIO's name, background and experience.
an organization chart which identifies the CIO's position relative to
the head of the agency, and other senior agency officials, and the agency
staff and associated resources assigned, or to be assigned, to the CIO for
the performance of functions assigned by the PRA and ITMRA.
a description of the CIO's authority and responsibilities.
All agencies should provide the name, title, and phone number for the
CIO to OMB once the position is filled. This information should be mailed to
Room 10236, New Executive Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20503. This
information should be updated as changes occur.
Role of the General Services Board Of Contract Appeals (GSBCA)
The repeal of the Brooks Act revokes the GSBCA's authority to hear and
decide bid protests. The GSBCA will continue to hear and decide protests
received up to and including August 7, 1996. The GSBCA will not accept any
protest received on or after August 8, 1996.
Inquiries. Inquiries or suggestions regarding the role of the Chief
Information Officer may be directed to the Information Policy and Technology
Branch in OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (202) 395-3785.
Inquiries regarding the role of the GSBCA should be directed to OMB's Office
of Federal Procurement Policy (202) 395-6803.