Press Release

For Immediate Release
September 13, 2005

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

FBI RESPONDS TO GAO REPORT ON THE FBI'S INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY EFFORTS TO DEVELOP AN ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE

Washington, D.C . -- The FBI released the following statement with regard to the Government Accountability Office's (GAO) report, titled: "FBI is Taking Steps to Develop an Enterprise Architecture, But Much Remains to be Accomplished."

The FBI appreciates the GAO's assessment and feedback on its Enterprise Architecture (EA) program development as well as its recognition that important progress has been made in the past eighteen months. The GAO has developed guidelines that assess and determine the viability of each government organization's EA design for their information technology (IT) systems. The GAO's report identifies the best practices necessary for an organization to have an effective architecture program and the FBI concurs with these best practice guidelines. The FBI has reviewed the report and its recommendations and will continue to strive towards the development of a robust EA program.

The FBI's Office of IT Policy and Planning has made significant strides in attaining major EA milestones for the Bureau in the past eighteen months. The group established a process to move the EA maturity level from Stage 1 to Stage 3 and has developed additional goals to ensure success of the program.

An EA serves as a blueprint for an organization's IT infrastructure. In the overall picture of EA design government-wide, the FBI has made significant progress with its EA development as it has approached Stage 3 competence, in a 5-stage scale, in 18 months. The GAO recognized that the FBI is in compliance with 16 out of 32 elements necessary for a mature, Stage 5 EA. This is a significant improvement over the GAO's 2003 assessment. It is expected that the FBI's EA will reach Stage 5 and complete all necessary criteria in 2007. From that point, the FBI will continue to ensure the architecture properly reflects the Bureau's evolving mission and business practices. While the existing EA continues to advance, it now provides a clear roadmap to help the FBI more effectively develop systems that directly support its mission.

Currently, the FBI is in the approval process for its EA development methodology documentation, which once approved will ensure that each component follows the same set of guidelines. The FBI is also adding personnel to its EA Program Office. Once the documentation and personnel requirements are fulfilled, the FBI will be in compliance with each element required by the GAO's guidelines for Stage 3 competence.

Chief Information Officer Zalmai Azmi stated: "The FBI recognizes the importance of an effective EA and will continue working towards the development of a mature architecture. Compared to entities in both the public and private sectors, we have made significant progress over the past eighteen months -- especially considering our security protocols, complex IT systems and business practices. We appreciate the GAO's guidance and look forward to working with them through the EA's development process."

For more information on the FBI's IT modernization efforts and progress in implementing the recommendations in the GAO report, please see the FBI's formal response, attached to the report. The FBI's formal response can also be found on our website at www.fbi.gov.

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