Systems to Support Response and Recovery Operations Need Improvement 
Federal regulations require agency CIOs to promote the effective and efficient 
design and operation of major information resources management processes.  
They must develop, maintain, and facilitate the implementation of integrated 
IT architectures to meet agency missions. The EP&R systems environment, 
however, is not integrated and does not support effective information 
exchange.  Consequently, during disasters, the systems are not able to handle 
increased workloads effectively, are not adaptable to change, and lack needed 
capabilities.  The reactive nature of EP&R's disaster response encourages 
short term systems fixes rather than long term IT solutions.  Taking the time 
to define and document systems requirements fully and evaluate viable 
alternatives to its complex, custom designed systems, will enable EP&R to 
support its response and recovery operations and meet its mission needs 
better. 
Unintegrated IT Environment 
EP&R is working to complete an enterprise architecture to govern its IT 
environment.  Currently, however, its systems are unintegrated and do not 
effectively share information.  IT officials agree that it is essential to integrate 
systems to support mission requirements better, but that decision must be 
made in collaboration with the systems owners and program officials.  
Linking the systems to state emergency management systems that rely upon 
FEMA information to carry out state disaster management responsibilities 
would also be beneficial. 
FEMA Enterprise Architecture Development is Ongoing 
The 
Clinger Cohen Act of 1996
16
 requires the CIO to develop, maintain, and 
facilitate the implementation of a sound, enterprisewide IT architecture
.
  An 
enterprise architecture provides a blueprint of the hardware, software, and 
related policies needed to achieve defined business objectives.  Such an 
architecture serves as the agency's road map to future systems development, 
network updates or changes, and implementation of key federal requirements.  
In 2001, FEMA developed an enterprise architecture document to serve as a 
guide to creating and implementing e government initiatives.  This road map 
has served FEMA well, documenting both major successes and key initiatives.  
For example, a few such initiatives were identified in the 2001 enterprise 
architecture and are still operational today.  These initiatives include: 
                                                 
16
 Public Law 104 106 
Emergency Preparedness and Response Could Better Integrate Information Technology  
with Incident Response and Recovery 
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