Commerce FY 2007 E-Government Act Report
Section 1 – Commerce Implementation of Electronic Government Initiatives
Commerce E-Government Initiative:
Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) – Regional Input-Output Modeling System (RIMS II) Web Site
A. How RIMS II is transforming agency operations.
The newly redesigned Regional Input-Output Modeling System (RIMS II) Web site (www.bea.gov/regional/rims/order.cfm) allows users of RIMS II economic multipliers to custom order and view their multipliers online. After logging in, customers can select the type of multiplier they wish to purchase using either an interactive map or the list of available regions; they can pay for the multipliers online with a credit card; and they can view or download the multipliers after their order has been processed. Prior to the implementation of RIMS II, customers were required to mail or fax their orders and received their RIMS II multipliers on CD. BEA’s regional input-output modeling system is widely used to analyze the economic impact of projects and events on state and local areas. Public and private analysts purchase RIMS II estimates from BEA in order to measure these impacts on jobs and labor-related earnings.
Some examples of projects include:
• Military base closings
• Airport or hospital expansions
• Policy changes or regulatory effects
• Shopping mall construction
• Power outages
B. How Commerce/BEA maintains an ongoing dialogue with interested parties to find innovative ways to use information technology for the initiative.
The design of the RIMS II site reflects feedback RIMS staff has received from customers. The RIMS staff maintains close contact with current and prospective customers via phone and e-mail exchanges. RIMS II staff conduct at least two customer workshops every year at BEA, and make presentations describing the RIMS II system at professional conferences around the country.
C. RIMS II external partners who collaborate on the initiative.
Customers include federal agencies such as the Departments of Defense and Labor, state and local governments, universities, economic consultants, economic development officials, trade associations, and metropolitan planning commissions. BEA worked very closely with the Department of Treasury’s PAY.GOV to implement secure online payments, which provides an essential component of the new RIMS site.
D. Improved performance that supports agency objectives and strategic goals
Prior to the new Web site being implemented, customers were required to mail or fax their orders and received their RIMS multipliers on CD. This process took a minimum of one week, and could take longer, depending on the size of the order and the backlog. Under the new Web-enabled process, customers can download their multipliers directly from BEA’s Web site, generally within two days of placing their order. Timeliness and efficiency in delivering customers their products improved dramatically with the roll out of RIMS II. RIMS II provides measurable progress toward the Commerce Department’s Strategic Goal I, “Maximize US competitiveness and enable economic growth for American industries, workers and consumers.”
E. Cost savings and cost avoidance achieved through implementing RIMS II.
The cost of purchasing multipliers was reduced by nearly 20%, reflecting the fact that the new system requires less staff time to process orders. BEA will realize hundred of hours in staff time savings. The new system is so much easier for the customer to use that the number of orders has increased 40%. Customers will save thousands of dollars each year because of BEA’s reduced processing rates.
F. How RIMS II ensures the availability of Government information and services for those without access to the Internet and for those with disabilities.
The Web-based online ordering capability is a new method for customers to order BEA's RIMS multipliers. Users can obtain the same services by phone or e-mail.
G. How RIMS II applies effective capital planning and investment control procedures.
BEA has adopted and continues to enhance a formal, documented IT capital planning and investment control (CPIC) process designed to provide a practical means of evaluating and comparing IT investments and potential initiatives to determine which are most beneficial and likely to succeed. The BEA CPIC process requires a description of the proposed project; business objective; tangible benefits; priority within the organization; possible alternative approaches; business process re-engineering description, if applicable; a cost estimate; and the impact of the project on future investment initiatives. This CPIC process ensures a clear line-of-sight through operational, architectural, and strategic objectives. Vetting the RIMS Web-ordering project through this comprehensive CPIC process resulted in the project being delivered on-time, within budget, and directly supporting Commerce and BEA strategic objectives.
Section 2 – Commerce Information Management Activities
Commerce Progress in Implementing NARA Bulletin 2006-02
Commerce is actively involved in working with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to ensure that the provisions of NARA Bulletin 2006-02, NARA Guidance for Implementing Section 207(e) of the E-Government Act of 2002, are implemented. Commerce continues to have a vigorous program for managing it records, including electronic records. There is a network of records management officers throughout Commerce to ensure that records are effectively managed and accounted for. The Commerce records management Web site contains Commerce-wide policies, training presentations, and other guidance, all of which address electronic records and e-mail. There are links to NARA Web sites, including the General Records Schedules and NARA guidance on electronic records management, and Commerce operating unit Web sites and records schedules.
Commerce and its operating units continue to make progress in meeting the requirement to have all existing electronic information systems covered by a NARA-approved records schedule by September 30, 2009. The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), working closely with NARA staff, completed the review and scheduling of all its seven electronic records systems, six of which were approved in FY 2006.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) continues to participate in the NARA “Flexible Schedule” pilot, under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), as provided for in NARA Bulletin 2005-05. Under the MOU, USPTO is piloting the “big bucket” scheduling approach and seeking aggregated, media-neutral schedules. Five bucket-style, media-neutral schedules were chosen, and two were finalized in FY 2006. These two included all IT systems that disseminate information or are used for administrative functions, and are not covered by the General Records Schedules. Schedules for Patent Granting and Maintenance and Initial Patent (IP) Policy and Management have been drafted. Under this MOU, we expect to submit the Patent schedule in FY 2008 and the IP schedule in FY 2009. An ongoing appraisal of the Trademarks schedule is underway; this schedule covers all IT systems related to Trademark processes, including the database that holds all trademark case files.
The Census Bureau is focused on updating its 2010 Decennial Census records schedules to ensure that they cover new electronic records and systems that will be needed to ensure adequate and proper documentation of this critical mission activity.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) are in the process of contracting for records management expertise to review and update their existing records schedules to ensure that they cover current electronic and paper records.
Commerce records management is organizationally located in the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), and the records management officer also serves as the Commerce IT Privacy point of contact. This facilitates the utilization and leveraging of other data sources (e.g., Exhibit 300s, Privacy Impact Assessments, FISMA reporting, and E-Government Act reporting requirements) that are reviewed and approved by the Commerce CIO. This provides the records management officer with the ability to identify electronic records systems and identify linkages between information management systems and disciplines to ensure that inventories of electronic records systems are complete and covered by NARA-approved schedules.
- Questions regarding this section may be directed to the E-Government Administrator