U.S. Department of Agriculture

Washington, D.C. 20250




SUBJECT: Agency Information Resources Management Review Board



December 13, 1983

OPI: Office of Information Resources Management; Review & Evaluation Division



This regulation prescribes the policies, responsibilities, and procedures for agencies to follow in establishing Information Resources Management Review Boards. The terms "agency" or "agencies" are used throughout this regulation to include both USDA agencies and staff offices.



This regulation supersedes 11-AR 4511 through 4520 and 11-AR 4514 Exhibit 175.



Agencies are responsible for managing their information resources to improve the delivery to services to the public, to assist program management at both Departmental and agency levels, to provide cost-effective technological and solutions to satisfy program requirements, and to promote sharing of these resources to the greatest extent possible. To assure that information management activities reflect the goals and priorities of agency programs, each agency will establish an Information Resource Management Review Board with a supporting Technical Review Committee. The Board will provide policy direction for IRM activities as well as review and approval of specific IRM actions.



a Information Resource Management. That aspect of general management that deals with the utilization of information and information resources and is concerned with the acquisition, processing, communication, and retention of information. It embraces and employs specific discipline such as automated data processing, data administration, telecommunications, office automation, and records and paperwork management; but it extends beyond all of these to include the flow, use, and responsibility for information throughout the organization.

b Automated Decision Making Applications. Computerized applications which directly or indirectly, without human intervention, result in the expenditure or transfer of funds.

Examples include financial applications that cause disbursement of funds, applications such as inventory control that detect low stock and cause new orders to be issued, and those that issue bills for collection.

c Major Information Resource Management Project. Project that exceeds development costs of $100,000 or requires six or more USDA staff years. A system may be determined major by the agency because it is critical to the operation of the agency rather than because of coast.



a The IRM Review Board will be comprised of high level program and administrative managers representing all major program areas within the agency. The Agency Senior IRM Official shall also be a member.

b A Technical Review Committee will be established to support the IRM Review Board. If possible, members should have a broad technical background in the area encompassed by IRM as well as the program area (s) affected.

c When the system to be reviewed is an Automated Decision Making Application, a member of the agency's audit control group or financial control unit who is acquainted with the project or a representative from the audit staff of the office of Inspector General should be included in the review or consulted by the Board.



An agency, because of its small size or special needs, may determine that an alternative approach would better meet its requirements for management of IRM activities. In this case, a request for a waiver may be issued. The request should be addressed to the Director, Office of Information Resources Management. The request should specify why an alternative method as desired and what the alternative would be.



a IRM Review Board will:

(1) Review and approve agency IRM budget and Long Range IRM Plan.

(2) Establish system development priority.

(3) Review and approve the IRM portion of the agency procurement plan.

(4) Assure that proper security requirements are met in accordance with OMB Circulars A-123 (Internal Control System) and A-71, TM #1 (Security of Federal Automated Information Systems) and other Federal and Departmental regulations.

(5) Assure that agency's total data requirements are considered in reviewing proposals for development of information systems.

(6) Assure that when a major systems efforts is initiated, a project manager is named within clear delegations of authority and responsibility for decisions making during development of the system.

(7) Review and approve any major planned information resource management project or system at initiation and at major milestones during implementation. These milestone reviews should be established by the board at the time of initial approval. Assure that all appropriate IRM standards are being followed.

(8) Assure that all Automated Decision Making Applications are periodically tested and validated to verify the logic and performance of such system.

(9) Review all other or operational system that process personal information as defined by the Privacy Act of 1974, regardless of it costs.

(10) Review all other major operational systems on a periodic basis to modify and/or eliminate those systems that are not meeting program requirements.

b Technical Review Committee will:

(1) Perform review of systems as directed by the Board.

(2) Provide recommendations to the Board for changes to proposed, planning, or existing systems.

(3) Review cost benefit analyses of systems submitted for approval and indicate whether or not the systems are cost effective in terms of existing resources.

(4) Ensure that systems containing personal information are appropriately controlled.

(5) Assure that Departmental IRM standards are being followed unless waivers have been granted.

(6) Review agency IRM security procedures and processes in accordance with Departmental directives and make recommendations to the Board.

(7) Review requests for IRM actions before presentation to the Board and assure that appropriate documentation has been completed in accordance with GSA and Departmental regulations.



Requests for Board approval for any initiative will be prepared within the associated program area. In order to assist the Technical Review Committee and the Board to evaluate a proposal, the following types of information should be provided.

a General System Description

(1) Name of system.

(2) Legislation, decision package or USDA program supported.

(3) Objective of the system. Show how these objectives will be satisfied. If this is a new system, describe how program requirements are currently being satisfied and the intent of the new system.

(4) Benefits to be achieved. When possible, reflect quantifiable benefits in terms of increased productivity, reduced cost, or directly associated decreased level of staffing.

(5) Functional requirements. Described briefly in terms of service required to meet program needs; e.g. response time for queries, currency requirements of data, reporting requirements.

(6) Relationship of system to other automated systems either within or outside your agency. Include, particularly, any current or planned information flow or exchange.

(7) Milestones. Include a table of significant milestones and projected completion dates. If any go/on go milestones and are planned, identify them as such.

(8) Potential problems or constraints. Include any issues that management should be aware of that might impact the success of the project, such as dependencies on others (Departmental Computer Center, outside Contractor, external approvals), requirement for specialized personnel, potential procurement problems, or use of unproven, technology.

(9) Note whether the system will contain any personal data.

(10) Security concerns. Describe how they will be accommodated.

(11) Procurement actions required. Provide information such as projected cost, approvals required, whether acquisition is in agency budget and approved procurement plan.

b Resource Requirements. Provide the total annual cost that can be allocated to the described system for development and operation by year.