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Department of Education FY 2008 E-Government Act Reporting
October 14, 2008
Archived Information


Section 1 - Implementation of Electronic Government Initiatives

A. Describe the initiative, the methodology for identification of the initiative, and how the initiative is transforming agency operations.

The G5 investment has been selected and approved by the Office of Management and Budget as one of three Centers of Excellence/shared service providers for the Grants Management Line of Business (GMLoB). This investment provides for the replacement of the Department of Education's (ED) legacy grants management system - the Grant Administration and Payment System (GAPS) and supports the Line of Business consolidation initiative. The shared service model enables ED to provide services to client agencies that will migrate to the Department's end-to end grants management system.

The G5 solution supports the Agency's grant-making business process and is a full lifecycle end-to-end grants management system (from intake of applications, peer review, award, payment, and performance monitoring to final closeout of the grant award). The system is being implemented in a three-phase approach over several years. Phase I (Payments) was implemented in December 2007. Phase II (Pre-Award) will be implemented in October 2009, and Phase III (Post Award) will be implemented in 2010. The investment was initiated to gather new or changing requirements related to grants management and to better align with the Department's current business processes and strategic plan. The GAPS system became operational in 1998 and has reached the end of its lifecycle. This initiative ensures the Department's enterprise-wide grants management system is up to date with current technology trends and with Government Paperwork Elimination Act requirements and that it is closely aligned with both existing and new grants policies and procedures. The Department intends to leverage enabling technologies to facilitate improvements within the grants management lifecycle. The high-level planned capabilities of the G5 solution include total electronic records management, workflow management and automatic notifications and alerts. Workflow tools will be used to expedite planning and allow interaction between the grantor and applicant/grantee. The legacy system's total integration with the General Ledger and subledger components that support detail accounting for obligations, expenditures and payments will also be included in the G5 solution.

B. Explain how your agency maintains an ongoing dialogue with interested parties to find innovative ways to use information technology for the initiative.

The GMLoB Consortia Leads collaborate through monthly meetings to share best practices and discuss ways to build on successes achieved. Further, as G5 is currently in the development stage, ED provides partners the opportunity to participate in requirements validation. Once all phases of the system have been implemented, ED will begin quarterly discussions with partners for enhancement, efficiencies, etc.

C. Identify external partners (e.g., Federal, State or local agencies, industry) who collaborate on the initiative.
  • Office of Management and Budget
  • Department of the Interior
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of Justice - Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
D. Identify improved performance (e.g., outcome measures, quantifiable business impact) by tracking performance measures supporting agency objectives and strategic goals.

The G5 solution supports the agency's cross-goal strategy on Management Objective 1: Maintain and strengthen financial integrity and management and internal controls. G5 controls payments for the Department's programs, including payments for grants and direct loans and other program-related obligations. Until G5 is fully implemented, GAPS will continue to serve as a subsidiary to the general ledger for program-related obligations, payments, and expenditures. GAPS interfaces with ED's Financial Management Support System at the summary level for funds control and general ledger postings.

These systems are responsible for managing, reconciling, and delivering timely and accurate reporting of grant and financial accounting data for over 160 grant appropriations.

Tight three-way integration between grants management, payments, and accounting has been a critical success factor in:

  • Earning the Presidential Award for Management Excellence for significant achievement in improved financial performance agency-wide,
  • Becoming the first cabinet-level agency to achieve a green status on the President's Management Agenda Scorecard for improved financial performance and
  • Achieving six consecutive "clean audits."
E. Quantify the cost savings and cost avoidance achieved through implementing the initiative (e.g., by reducing or eliminating other investments in information technology).

The G5 system has not been fully implemented and does not expect to realize savings until at least FY11. The Department expects to realize savings when Phase III implementation is complete, consortia partner migrations begin and legacy systems are retired.

F. Explain how this initiative ensures the availability of government information and services for those without access to the Internet and for those with disabilities.

The Department provides a toll-free hotline and TTY for individuals without access to the Internet to ensure the availability of its grant systems to customers.

Compliance with Section 508 is required in the development of the system, and the system has undergone rigorous 508 compliance testing to ensure that customers with disabilities can successfully access and use the system.

G. Explain how the project applies effective capital planning and investment control procedures.

ED requires that all information technology initiatives support and are aligned with the Department's business objectives and Strategic Plan, minimize duplication of investment efforts, and are selected and managed in a way that demonstrates careful decision-making, with the greatest possible partnership and resource sharing.

ED's Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) manages the Department's IT investment management (ITIM) process to ensure consistency with all applicable legislation, as well as the Department's enterprise architecture, information management, information assurance, and related standards and processes. The ITIM process is iterative and uses a cycle of IT project selection, control, and evaluation to maximize desired business outcomes. Tools such as business cases and "earned value" metrics reported monthly allow IT projects to be analyzed for success throughout their lifecycles. The G5 initiative submits a business case annually and other core deliverables to OCIO for review and clearance. OCIO collaborates with the Office of the Chief Financial Officer during the review process to ensure that the G5 acquisition is aligned with the Department's policies and standards and is driven by sound business needs and requirements as defined in an approved business case.

H. Describe the established business process your agency has in place for the continued ongoing process of identification of initiatives.

ED's Investment Review Board (IRB) was established under the authority of the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996; the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; Office of Management and Budget Circular A-130 (Management of Federal Information Resources); and other applicable laws, rules, and regulations.

The IRB is a forum for deliberation about Department information technology (system and resource) investments needed to achieve the Department's mission and business requirements. The IRB advises the Chief Operating Officer to ensure that the Department:

  • Maximizes the value, and assesses and manages the risk and costs, of significant information system investments;
  • Integrates information system investment decisions with the Department's mission, strategic plan, budget, enterprise architecture, and effective IT investment portfolio strategy;
  • Focuses on the entire life cycle of information system investments, including vision, definition, construction and validation, implementation, support and improvement, and retirement;
  • Makes information resource investment decisions based on its business needs and processes;
  • Emphasizes and monitors performance and results in information resource investments;
  • Establishes investment review schedules and monitors these investments throughout the Control Phase of the IT investment management process;
  • Recommends corrective actions for those IT investments that are not performing in accordance with established cost, schedule, or technical performance parameters;
  • Identifies opportunities to minimize duplicative or overlapping information systems across the Department;
  • Identifies common IT issues and recommends resolution of those issues to the Chief Operating Officer of the Department; and
  • Provides input to the Chief Operating Officer on IT architecture management planning and IT investment management process improvement activities.

Section 2 – Agency Information Management Activities

A. Your agency's Information Resources Management (IRM) Strategic Plan and EA Transition Plan.

The Department's IRM Strategic Plan:
download files MS Word (735KB)
download files PDF (570KB)

The Department's EA Transition Plan:
download files MS Word (3.2MB)
download files PDF (1.3KB)

B. Final determinations, priorities, and schedules. Also include your agency's information dissemination product catalogs, directories, inventories, and any other management tools used to improve the dissemination of and access to your agency's information by the public;
ED is committed to providing its full range of information to the public. A primary vehicle for doing so is the Department's main website, ED.gov. ED.gov offers regularly updated information on the administration's priorities as well as ED grants and contracts, federal student financial aid, education research and statistics, ED policy, and ED programs (please see www.ed.gov). The U.S. Department of Education (ED) developed an inventory of website content, http://www.ed.gov/notices/egovinventory.html, as required by Section 207(f)(2) of the E-Government Act of 2002. ED also offers a one-stop system for ordering ED publications (http://edpubs.ed.gov/webstore/Content/search.asp), an array of e-newsletters (http://www.ed.gov/news/newsletters/index.html), and an RSS feed (http://www.ed.gov/news/newsletters/rssnewsfeed.html).
C. Your agency's FOIA handbook, the link of your agency's primary FOIA website, and the website link where frequent requests for records are made available to the public;

The Department's primary FOIA website is:
http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/foia/foiatoc.html.

The Department provides a link from its primary FOIA website to the DOJ FOIA Guide publication:
http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/foia/foiatoc.html.

The Department provides information to assist requesters to "make a FOIA request." The web address for "How to Make a Request" is:
http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/foia/request.html.

The Department's "frequently requested records" web page is:
http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/foia/readingroom_2.html.

D. A list of your agency's public websites disseminating research and development (R&D) information to the public, describing for each whether the website provides the public information about federally funded R&D activities and/or provides the results of Federal research;

The Department's primary website, ED.gov, hosts a portal page that serves as the starting point to ED research and statistics information (please see http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/landing.jhtml). The main ED organization that supports ED research and statistics is the Institute of Education Sciences (please see http://ies.ed.gov/).

E. An inventory describing formal agency agreements (e.g., contracts, memorandum of understanding) with external entities (e.g., partnerships with State and local governments, public libraries, industry and commercial search engines) complementing your agency's information dissemination program, briefly explaining how each agreement improves the access to and dissemination of government information to the public;

Besides http://www.ed.gov, http://ies.ed.gov, http://studentaid.ed.gov/, our main sources of information for the public, we have contract agreements to complement our information dissemination program:

EDpubs, http://edpubs.ed.gov/webstore/Content/search.asp, is intended to help customers identify and order U.S. Department of Education products. All publications are provided at no cost to the general public by the U.S. Department of Education.

Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), http://eric.ed.gov/, provides free access to more than 1.2 million bibliographic records of journal articles and other education-related materials and, if available, includes links to full text.

What Works Clearinghouse, http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/, provides educators, policymakers, researchers, and the public with a central and trusted source of scientific evidence of what works in education.

Doing What Works, http://dww.ed.gov/, provides effective teaching practices and examples of possible ways to implement them. These practices have been found to be effective by the Department's Institute of Education Sciences and similar organizations.

College.gov, http://www.college.gov/, aims to motivate students with inspirational stories and information about planning, preparing and paying for college.

ED has two cooperative agreements:

Students.gov, http://www.students.gov/STUGOVWebApp/Public, is an official U.S. government web site designed for college students and their families. Our mission is to provide you with easy access to information and resources from the U.S. government – all the info you need, in one place, from all parts of the government.

Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE), http://free.ed.gov, makes it easier to find teaching and learning resources from the federal government. More than 1,500 federally supported teaching and learning resources are included from dozens of federal agencies. New sites are added regularly.

F. An inventory that describes your agency's NARA-approved records schedules(s) or the link to the publicly-posted records schedules(s), and a brief explanation of your agency's progress to implement NARA Bulletin 2006-02. For the brief explanation, please report the number of systems for which a record schedule was submitted to NARA in FY 2008 and the number of systems still requiring records schedules.

The Department's Comprehensive Records Disposition Schedule is available at:
http://www.ed.gov/notices/records-management/.

ED continues to make steady progress in meeting the requirements of NARA Bulletin 2006-02. ED has begun completely overhauling its existing records disposition schedules. We have obtained NARA approval to make the new ED comprehensive records retention schedules broader in scope, media-neutral and applicable to records in all formats. ED submitted approximately 30 new records retention schedules to NARA for final approval in FY08 and will submit the remainder (about 70) in FY09. A majority of our electronic information systems are covered by these new schedules. Any systems not covered will be scheduled individually in FY09. All of ED's electronic information systems will be covered by applicable records retention schedules by the September 30, 2009, deadline.

NARA Bulletin 2006-02 also requires agencies to incorporate records management functions into the design, development, and implementation of information. ED modified its Life Cycle Management process to incorporate records management requirements. This will ensure that records management considerations are taken into account during the system initiation and concept phases and records management requirements are defined and incorporated into system design, functionality, and operation.


 
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Last Modified: 02/27/2014