Spring is coming early in 3/4 of national parks, according to a new study. Awesome? Not so much. As flowers bloom earlier every year, it’s disrupting the link between the wildflowers and the arrival of birds, bees, and butterflies that feed on and pollinate the flowers. In Shenandoah, an earlier spring is giving invasive plants a head start, and they’re displacing native wildflowers, leading to costly management issues.
Before the 1960s almost everything about living openly as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person was illegal. New York City laws against homosexual activities were particularly harsh. The Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969 is a milestone in the quest for LGBT civil rights and provided momentum for a movement.
Vine Creek Ranch at Death Valley National Park. Steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley.
Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Capital Planning and Investment Control (CPIC) is a structured, integrated approach to managing information technology (IT) investments. It is the primary process for making investment decisions, assessing investment process effectiveness, and refining investment related policies and procedures. It ensures that all IT investments align with the agency’s mission and support business needs while minimizing risks and maximizing returns through the investment’s lifecycle.
CPIC is mandated by the Clinger-Cohen Act which requires government agencies to use a disciplined process to acquire, use, maintain and dispose of information technology (IT). CPIC relies on a systematic approach to IT investment and portfolio management in three distinct phases: Select, Control and On-Going Evaluation, to ensure each investment’s objectives support the business and mission needs of the Agency.
DOI’s IT Investment Portfolio is viewable on the federal IT Dashboard.
IT Governance and Portfolio Management Reform efforts are underway
Interior has two main goals in undertaking IT Governance reforms:
Align IT investments tightly with business and mission outcomes
Create a collaborative and transparent portfolio management process that drives stakeholder accountability
Action plan for achieving IT Governance and portfolio management reforms:
Engage business leaders to evaluate IT portfolio categorized by business lines over the coming year and deliver initial business line roadmaps
Conduct iStat investment performance reviews on all major investments
Improve portfolio management processes to achieve expected business value
The DOI iStat Process was instituted in July 2010 and is modeled after the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) TechStat review process. The purpose of this integrated portfolio management and governance process is to bring rigor and thoroughness to the Department’s investment management and review functions. The iStat initiative has been developed to improve the performance and accountability of IT investments by providing a comprehensive Departmental review of IT investment. iStat not only provides a means to comply with OMB requirements, but also allows the Department to effectively identify and correct performance issues to ensure DOI's IT dollars are deriving the intended results.
The iStat process integrates the iStat Performance Review Board with the iStat Executive Committee (IEC), two key bodies of Interior’s information technology (IT) governance process. The purpose of the iStat Performance Review Board is to assess the investment for performance; to determine compliance to Federal regulations and standards; and to recommend appropriate corrective actions that mitigate risks. The Performance Review Board prepares the IT assessment and recommendations that are elevated to the IEC. Since the launch of the iStat process, accomplishments to date include: terminating two projects yielding $50.5M in cost avoidance, and issuing recommendations for significant structural reforms for other investments.