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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

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     Indian Health Manual
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Part 8 - Information Resources Management

Chapter 1 - Chief Information Officer

Title Section
Introduction 8-1.1
    Purpose 8-1.1A
    Background 8-1.1B
    Scope 8-1.1C
    Authority 8-1.1D
    Acronyms 8-1.1E
    Definitions 8-1.1F
    Responsibilities 8-1.1G


  1. PURPOSE.  This chapter establishes the Indian Health Service (IHS) policies governing the responsibilities of the IHS Chief Information Officer (CIO) to ensure compliance with legislative- and executive-level guidance and to support the needs of the IHS.
  2. BACKGROUND.  The scope and importance of the CIO have increased through the passage of the “Information Technology Management Reform Act of 1996,” Clinger-Cohen Act (CCA), Division E, Public Law (P.L.) 104-106; the issuance of Executive Order No. 13011, “Federal Information Technology”; and the pervasiveness of information resources management (IRM) and information technology (IT) in today’s world.  The CIO is a member of senior management involved in establishing IHS directions, priorities, plans, and investments.
  3. SCOPE.
    1. Applicability.  This chapter applies to all IHS organizational components including but not limited to Headquarters, Area Offices, and service units conducting business for and on behalf of the IHS through contractual relationships when using IHS IT resources.  The policies contained in this chapter apply to all IHS IT activities including the equipment, procedures, and technologies that are employed in managing these activities.  The policy includes teleworking, travel, other off-site locations, and all IHS office locations.  Agency officials will apply this chapter to contractor personnel, interns, externs, and other non-Government employees by incorporating such reference in contracts or memorandums of agreement as conditions for using Government-provided IT resources.
    1. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) IRM Circular: No. IRM-101, “CIO Roles and Responsibilities,” March 1999
    2. "Federal Information Technology," Executive Order 13011, Section 3(a)(1)
    3. "Information Technology Management Reform Act of 1996," CCA, Division E, P.L. 104-106
    4. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular No. A-130, "Management of Federal Resources"
    5. "Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995," P.L. 104-13

    (1)    CCA Clinger-Cohen Act

    (2)    CIO Chief Financial Officers

    (3)    DHO Director Headquarters Operations

    (4)     HHS Department of Health and Human Services

    (5)    DIR Division of Information Resources

    (6)    IHS Indian Health Service

    (7)    IRM Information Resources Management

    (8)    IT Information Technology

    (9)    ITA Information Technology Architecture

    (10)   OMB Office of Management and Budget

    (11)  OMS Office of Management Support

    (12)  P.C. Personal Computers

    (13)  P.L. Public Law

    (14)  ROM Read-Only-Memory

    1. Capital Planning.  Capital planning is a discipline used by management to reduce the risk and increase the return associated with making investments of capital assets.
    2. Firmware.  Firmware is software that is Read-Only-Memory (ROM) based and controls a computer between the time it is turned on and the time the primary operating system takes control of the machine.  The firmware's responsibilities include testing and initializing the hardware, determining the hardware configuration, loading (or booting) the operating system, and providing interactive debugging facilities in case of faulty hardware or software.
    3. Information Technology Architecture.  Information technology architecture (ITA) is an integrated framework for evolving or maintaining existing IT and acquiring new IT to achieve strategic and information resource management goals.
    4. Information Resources Management.  Information resources management (IRM) is the process of managing information resources to accomplish the Agency's mission and to improve Agency performance, including the reduction of information-collection burdens on the public.
    5. Information Technology.  Information technology is any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment used in the automatic acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information by the Agency.  Information technology includes computers, ancillary equipment, software, firmware and similar procedures, services (including support services), and related resources.  It does not include any equipment that is acquired by a Federal contractor incidental to a Federal contract.  For purposes of this definition, equipment is “used” by the IHS whether the IHS uses the equipment directly or it is used by a contractor under a contract with the IHS that:
      1. requires the use of such equipment; or
      2. requires the use, to a significant extent, of such equipment in the performance of a service or the furnishing of a product.
    6. Indian Health Service IT Resources.  The IHS IT resources include, but are not limited to: personal computers (PCs) and related peripheral equipment and software, network and Web servers; library resources; telephones; facsimile machines; photocopiers; Internet connectivity and access to Internet services; all forms of e-mail; and, for the purposes of this policy, office supplies.  It does not include data stored in or transported by such resources.
    7. Strategic Planning.  Strategic planning is long-term planning (spanning the present through 5 years and beyond) that integrates organizational IRM requirements and activities over the planning period.
    1. Director, IHS.  The Director, IHS, is responsible for designating the Director, Division of Information Resources (DIR), as the IHS CIO and for providing the CIO with direct access to himself/herself.
    2. Director of Headquarters Operations.  The Director of Headquarters Operations (DHO) is designated as the administrative liaison between the Office of the Director and the CIO.
    3. Director, Office of Management Support.  The Director, Office of Management Support (OMS), is responsible for serving as the first-level supervisor of the IHS CIO.
    4. Chief Information Officer.  The Director, DIR, OMS, is the designated IHS CIO.  However, all IT and IRM functions may not be under the direct control of the IHS CIO.  Since IRM is pervasive and widely distributed, it is no longer viable for IRM to be placed under any one person's control.  Therefore, it is necessary for the IHS CIO to team with the business units of the Agency to better use IRM and to facilitate the use of IT.  When IRM functions are performed under the control of a business unit program manager, the IHS CIO will coordinate and facilitate the IHS's decision making on IRM ssues, policies, and initiatives.

      The IHS CIO is a member of the HHS CIO Advisory Council.  The Advisory Council defines and codifies the Department's IRM infrastructure standards.  The IHS CIO will ensure that the IHS IRM infrastructure is built/modified to conform to these standards.

      The IHS CIO is also a key member of the HHS management team for establishing the vision and strategic direction of the HHS enterprise.  The CIO, in full partnership with IHS program executives, provides the necessary and critical perspectives as well as the methods and tools to achieve technology and business improvement.

      The CIO is the IHS IT expert and information resources manager.  The CIO assists IHS staff in properly using IT to the greatest extent possible while delivering high-quality products and services, and achieving the IHS mission and goal.  The IHS CIO is responsible for the activities shown under the following major IRM and IT life-cycle management functions:

      1. Business Improvement Process.  The CIO's role is critical in providing a cross-functional perspective, for advising senior management officials on how IT will enable current operations and on any transition to a more effective environment.  The business improvement process includes creating a vision and developing goals, strategies, performance measures, plans, and architectures to move the enterprise into the future.  The CIO will:
        1. Serve as the lead information technologist for the IHS.  Develop the IHS ITA. Establish Agency IT policies, standards, and processes that implement and support the ITA.  Conduct annual assessments of the IT knowledge and skill requirements for the IHS and its employees.
        2. Formulate and conduct the IHS IT capital planning and investment review process consistent with the HHS and Government-wide requirements.
        3. Define the current IT environment and provide strategies for closing the gap between the current and the targeted environment as defined in the IHS ITA.
        4. Lead IT and IRM strategic planning, and establish IHS IT performance measures.
        5. Develop IT tactical plans and budgets, perform IT investment analyses and capital planning, and make the business case for IT initiatives.
        6. Determine probable outcomes for IT investments.
      2. Planning.  This includes the integration of IRM planning and strategic business planning, IT planning and budgeting, capital planning, IT knowledge and skills requirements, and information/architecture development.  The CIO's planning responsibilities include the following:
        1. Participate in strategic business planning and in creating the vision of the enterprise.  Identify opportunities to achieve the vision.
        2. Bring an enterprise-wide view, a business-process orientation, and an understanding of the IHS programs, technology, and organization.
      3. Process Improvement.  The IHS CIO has the necessary enterprise perspective and the infrastructure to support enterprise process design and re-engineering.  The infrastructure includes architectures, analyses, and design methods and tools; and networks and processing platforms that are critical components in enabling process innovation.  The CIO's process-improvement responsibilities include the following:
        1. Partner with operational leaders to reengineer the Department's processes from which systems and information requirements are derived.
        2. Promote an understanding of the enterprise's cross-functional view, using information, and IT architectures.
        3. Provide methods and tools to facilitate interagency and intra-agency process innovation.
        4. Provide an IT infrastructure to test and communicate improved processes.
      4. Information Technology Services Delivery.  The CIO will manage or oversee the IHS IRM program to ensure that IRM services support their programmatic and administrative operations.  Services include the following:
        1. Information collection
        2. Information dissemination, including printing
        3. Data administration
        4. Records management
        5. Forms management
        6. Information and computer security
        7. Information resources examinations and reports
        8. Inventories
        9. Requirement analyses
        10. Design, development, and acquisition of system applications and infrastructure
      5. Continuous Improvement.  The CIO will continually evaluate the IT program performance against measures established in strategic and program planning, and against industry best practices.  Responsibilities include the following:
        1. Adjust operational systems and new IT capital project plans according to lessons learned.
        2. Identify and leverage IT assets to support new business opportunities.
        3. Reuse and extend existing assets.
        4. Enhance service levels.
        5. Achieve and raise performance targets.
        6. Incorporate achievements and lessons learned into the next strategic planning cycle.
      6. Department of Health and Human Services CIO Advisory Council.  The IHS CIO serves as a member of the HHS CIO Advisory Council.  The CIO represents the IHS at the HHS CIO Advisory Council meetings on IRM issues such as goals, strategies, policies, and responses to proposed legislation.  The Advisory Council serves as a forum to gain a consensus on cross-cutting issues and to share experiences, ideas, and promising practices to improve the management of IT and information resources.

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