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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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U.S. Department of Labor E-Government Strategic Plan

The driving force behind this initiative is the need to create an environment in which users can efficiently collaborate, perform tasks, and obtain information from a single source. More important, the IIM will allow improved management of critical business and technical knowledge, and will improve employee retention by streamlining necessary functions and allowing citizens, businesses, employees, and other Federal government agencies to find the information they need, when and where they need it.

Knowledge Management

Enterprise knowledge management is a collaborative, integrated strategy and implementation approach for effective creation, capture, organization, access, use, and reuse of all enterprise knowledge assets.

Knowledge management organizes and makes information available electronically in a way that is useful for employees and customers. Conceptually, it turns a “brick and mortar” library into a “virtual library” through which users can obtain timely access to intellectual capital. As DOL’s enterprise architecture matures and the Department integrates information from its customer outreach activities, DOL will focus on enhancing its knowledge capture and sharing capabilities.

BUILDING THE E-GOVERNMENT TECHNOLOGY FOUNDATION

Within the context of the Department’s enterprise architecture, DOL will establish an infrastructure that facilitates a seamless, secure, and reliable interface with its customers and business partners. In the near term, the Department will place a higher priority on infrastructure projects in its budget planning activities, while continuing to develop its customer service plans. In this manner, the Department will establish a sound technological foundation to support the E-Government systems identified through the CRM process. This foundation will be scalable and flexible. DOL will also focus on network efficiency, reliability, and capacity to ensure support of its E-Government projects.

Common E-Mail

Efficient and reliable network communications are essential to the overall management and leadership by the Department’s executives and staff. As E-Government becomes the Federal government’s dominant mode of operation, DOL personnel will increasingly rely on e-mail to serve the public when carrying out agency programs. Reliable, accessible, and secure e-mail has, therefore, become an operational requirement.

At present, departmental agencies use three different e-mail systems: Novell GroupWise, UNIX Sendmail, and Microsoft Exchange. E-mail users have encountered many problems with the current fragmented approach, including system degradation, difficulty in sending messages and attachments between agencies, and problems with directory services. The disparate e-mail environments result in as much as a 4-hour delay for messages between personnel.

By standardizing the Department’s e-mail systems, DOL strives to improve performance, effectiveness, reliability, maintainability, usability, and security. In addition, the common e-mail system should reduce the total cost of ownership, impose a lower management and administrative burden, support delegated system administration (management by each agency’s IT staff), and facilitate consolidation. The move to a common e-mail environment will enable the Department to simplify and unify its messaging services.

Completion of the common departmental messaging system also will set the stage for additional initiatives for improving effectiveness and reducing life-cycle costs through enterprise-wide network improvements and server consolidation. An efficient e-mail system will enable implementation of, and support for, several of the Presidential Priority Initiatives, including eRecords management, eAuthentication, and ePayroll/Human Resources (payroll processing consolidation).

Directory Services

The DOL Directory Service (DDS) is a new cross-cutting project proposed for FY 2004. This proposed effort will simplify and unify the Department’s many directory functions, reduce directory administration costs, minimize errors, and improve information security.

The Department uses numerous directories in conjunction with its network operating systems, personnel and other databases, e-mail, other applications, and IT resources. DOL also must deal with a growing number of additional objects that will be associated with the common e-mail system, a biometrics database, PKI, and external directories.

With the increasing reliance on the Internet and Intranet—and the commitment to E-Government—the Department can no longer afford the unreliability, incompatibilities, and high costs associated with the current redundant, disconnected, nonstandard directory schemas. The DDS will provide policy-based networking. It also will serve as the “glue” binding information (data objects) from diverse existing directories, so that the information can be accessed, used, and merged into hybrid object sets that draw on multiple sources. The DDS will coexist with and draw data from a wide range of departmental databases or data stores. Disparate data formats will be integrated with the directory through use of tools such as Extensible Markup Language (XML) and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). This universal data representation and logical model of enterprise network services will allow cyber policies to be applied and managed at the enterprise level, thereby streamlining the process of information resource management.

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