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House Information Systems
House Information Resources (HIR), under the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), has developed a fiscal year 2001 budget request básed on 61 technology and support projects. Each project contributes to House support areas that help automate and improve operations for legislative, constituent services, communications, and administrative activities. The projects, which were developed in support of the yearly CAO strategic planning process, are distributed under four of the five CAO strategic visions focused on improving service and technology. HIR projects provide services in ten House support areas, which are listed below as:
Messaging and Scheduling
Information Systems Security
Electronic Information Services
House Systems and Technical Support
HIR Administration and Operations
The HIR fiscal year 2001 budget request concentrates on providing sustaining services to existing Information Technology (IT), and improving reliability and availability of critical systems. HIR has traditionally been a mainframe-based organization but has made significant progress migrating to newer client-server technologies. The House support areas presented in this budget request summarize projects that focus on maintaining and improving technology service. The mainframe migration support area is also of primary focus and done in a way that lets customer needs and feedback drive project activity.
The fiscal year 2001 House Information Resources budget request is $27,028,000 for salaries, expenses, and specialized contract support, of which $26,928,000 is requested for appropriation (less reimbursements). Of the appropriated amount requested, $6,416,000 is for net expenses of telecommunications. The remaining appropriation is for information technology and systems support to the House community. The HIR and Net Telecommunications budget increase is mostly attributed to increased levels of maintenance and rapid response services requested by Members and House staff.
Critical support services added to the 2001 budget request that were not in the approved 2000 budget include services such as: Correspondence Management System (CMS) testing and validation, increased level of messaging system support, House-wide National Journal subscription, and renewal of the Ceridian/GDIS appropriations support software. Replacement of "end-of-life" equipment and older systems continues to be a significant cost of maintaining technology systems. Several mission critical applications, such as the Legislative Information Management System (LIMS), will continue to be the focus of replacement projects to migrate from mainframe-based operations. The HIR and net expenses of telecommunication budgets are submitted as separate requests in the Budget Overview section.
The CAO strategic vision, Fluid Information Technology, promotes "easy to use" technology for the House community and continues to be the CAO top priority into year 2001. Projects are structured to help provide technology as a utility that is as easy to use as electric and water
US House of Representatives
House Information Resources FY2001 Budget Request
improvements to the technology infrastructure. Quality technical support to daily House activity will always remain a priority, but will be balanced with improvements to the technology infrastructure for the future.
HIR Fiscal Year Budget Comparison (excluding Net Telecommunications) 2-2
...Project Distribution by Support Area
Project Distribution by FTE
Project Distribution by Budget Object Class (BOC)
House Information Resources (HIR) operates as information and communications technology staff of the U.S. House of Representatives. HIR conducts operations under the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) in support of Member, Committee, and staff activity. HIR provides technical support through projects defined under the CAO strategic plan outlining visions, goals, and objectives to provide quality service to the House. The diagram below illustrates how HIR projects are created to support key areas of House activity (labeled support area below) and executed by HIR within technical areas best providing effective and efficient solutions. This important concept ensures that technology projects provide Members, Committees, and staff with improved services and capabilities.
This budget request document provides information in two relevant areas: (1) Cost summary of project activity by Budget Object Class (BOC) and fiscal year comparison, and (2) a detailed description of how projects provide direct support to House support areas.
The continuing transition of HIR from mainframe-based operations to a more flexible and responsive client-server environment, with a heavy emphasis toward increased messaging and Internet/Intranet capabilities, will continue in year 2001. This effort will be guided by the following principles:
• Accept and prepare for change. Goals and procedures must be reviewed and updated continuously with respect to current and changing technology.
Listen to the customer. Customer feedback is the best indicator of how you are doing. Involve customers with efforts to improve current services, and development of new processes, products, and services.
• Organized approach. CAO projects will use the Systems Development Life-Cycle Policy to conduct projects in a quality and well-documented fashion.
• Hire carefully. Skilled and responsible people are essential to providing quality customer service and problem resolution.
U.S. House of Representatives
House Information Resources FY2001 Budget Request
• Train continuously. Improving employee skills and abilities is crucial for quality customer service.
• Control costs. Establish measurable criteria and understand the budget impact.
Although the HIR budget request concentrates on providing sustaining services to existing technology systems and improving reliability and availability of critical systems, mainframe migration remains an important goal to achieve greater flexibility with client-server systems. Migration to a client-server environment follows an industry trend that has taken the Information Technology (IT) field from a mainframe environment to more flexible server-based applications. The expansion of Internet and Intranet applications has greatly increased the use of computerbased automation in House offices. This industry-wide evolution, and the continuing fast paced technology changes within the IT field, requires that HIR constantly research and revise its technology focus guided by House needs. The Intranet provides a tremendous opportunity to reduce disjointed processes, such as six phone calls to get one answer. Smart Intranet development can help the House conduct its day-to-day business more quickly and efficiently.
The U.S. House of Representatives is a unique environment requiring the customization of industry technology practices to provide effective and efficient automation of House activities. Strategic planning conducted at the CAO level has provided a framework of visions, goals, and objectives to maximize support to the House and create over 100 projects within HIR that can improve House operations. CAO strategic planning is a continuous process with visions representing the core areas for HIR to provide support to the House community. The CAO strategic plan is a five-year plan with annual updates to the visions, goals, and objectives. Projects are the basis for the HIR budget and exist under the strategic goals and objectives of the CAO. The CAO visions that have HIR projects proposed for fiscal year 2001 are listed below with information on the number of staff devoted to each vision area and non-personnel costs:
A HIR staff of 221 FTEs is proposed to conduct 61 fiscal year 2001 technical support projects with emphasis on maintaining current technology services. The selected projects provide sustainment and maintenance of existing services with approximately a 2% investment of nonpersonnel funding in new technologies. The CAO has also developed a strategic technology research plan to help keep the exploration of new technologies matched to House needs.