Office of the Chief Information Officer &
High Performance Computing and Communications

CIO Organization

The NOAA Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) is responsible to ensure NOAA's programs make full and appropriate use of information technology. The NOAA OCIO oversees the expenditure of approximately $600 million each year in information technology (IT) spending alone - computer hardware, software, services, networking, and telecommunications. This is accomplished by the development of centralized policies and guidance, which are implemented across NOAA. The OCIO works closely with business partners throughout NOAA and the Department of Commerce (DOC) to ensure the use of leading edge technology that will better enable the NOAA mission. The NOAA OCIO implements the following services and program elements:

IT Policy and Legislation
The NOAA OCIO supports the following legislation with policies and guidance:

High Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC)
The NOAA OCIO manages and integrates NOAA's HPCC infrastructure, including advanced networking and applications, and serves as the project management office for NOAA's R&D High Performance Computing Systems. It seeks to modernize NOAA's computationally intensive services through the use of evolving HPCC technologies. Short-term weather warnings, seasonal forecasts, and regional and global climate predictions are heavily dependent on major advances in high-end computing power, advanced information technology, and the widespread availability of environmental data and information.

Homeland Security Program
IT services and information delivery at NOAA must be resilient in the face of catastrophic failures, or natural/man-made disasters. NOAA's Homeland Security Program (HSP) ensures NOAA's continuity of operations to support the nation's mission essential functions, and coordinates all homeland security and response-related plans and policies to provide an integrated effort across NOAA. Plan development, testing, training and exercises ensure NOAA is ready to deliver vital services when disaster strikes. HSP leads NOAA's Incident Coordination Center to ensure a coordinated NOAA response to incidents and that products to internal and external partners are available in time of urgent need. HSP develops procedures to promote the safety and security of NOAA's mission, people and facilities.

IT Capital Planning and Investment Control (CPIC)
The NOAA Capital Planning and Investment Control program ensures NOAA uses IT to develop the best value, most useful, and most effective products and services to support its mission. This program ensures IT plans align with NOAA and the Department strategic visions and mission requirements, and that executives have accurate and meaningful information for IT decision-making. This includes critical information on a proposed IT investment's overall value to the organization, the return on the investment, measures of performance, and effective risk management plans. The NOAA IT Review Board, managed by the OCIO, serves as NOAA's authority to select, control, and evaluate IT capital investments through review of budget and IT investment authority requests, system/control reviews, and post-implementation reviews.

Enterprise Architecture
Enterprise Architecture (EA) is both a process and a living document providing a blueprint to guide the development and acquisition of efficient and secure IT solutions to meet NOAA's mission and objectives. The NOAA EA augments the Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution System (PPBES) function to enable analysis of IT alternatives to close performance gaps, identification of redundant IT investments and establishment of technical standards and architectural principles to maximize sharing of data across programs and applications.

IT Security Program
Information is central to NOAA's mission; any amount of data loss, network failures, or malicious intrusions can result in far-reaching damage. Attacks on NOAA's systems are continuous and, given the sophistication of attack tools, the threat is constantly increasing. The IT Security program ensures the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of NOAA's information resources is protected. The NOAA Computer Incident Response Term (N-CIRT) coordinates incident responses and acts as a source of expertise and information regarding vulnerabilities and responses as it pertains to the NOAA environment.

Review of Information Collection Requests under the Paperwork Reduction Act
The Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 requires that agencies obtain Office of Management and Budget approval before requesting most types of information from the public. "Information collections" include forms, interviews, and recordkeeping requirements. NOAA primarily collects information in support of Fisheries and National Ocean Service programs. The NOAA OCIO is responsible for coordination and review of information collection requests from all line and staff offices, and for their submission to DOC and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in a timely manner. Submissions include renewals and rule-related revisions of existing collections, as well as requests for new collections. Our role is to assist each program in submitting the best possible request for OMB approval, in terms of utility, quality and integrity of information.

Program Management
Effective program management of IT investments provides NOAA with the timely delivery of new and existing services maximizing the value of taxpayer dollars. The OCIO establishes guidelines, processes and procedures for individual project managers and coordinates a program of continuous process improvement in project execution through the use of project tracking, periodic management reviews and detailed project audits. The NOAA OCIO manages a project portfolio Website as a repository for project artifacts to expedite review and approval of project documentation. In addition to providing Project Management guidance, the OCIO supplies direct program management for major projects which are deemed critical to NOAA's enterprise infrastructure.

Messaging Operations Center
The Messaging Operations Center (MOC) provides the management of NOAA's email, calendaring, Blackberry enterprise server and their supporting directory infrastructure. The MOC also provides common and customized services related to this infrastructure, as well as the helpdesk for the email, directory, and LAN administrators in the fields who support related services throughout NOAA.

Network Operations Center
The Network Operations Center (NOC) provides secure, high-speed access to NOAA Headquarters' internal networks and the Internet and Internet2, as well as management of NOAA's DC Metropolitan Area Network. The NOC provides a single point of contact to resolve network-related issues and manages network assets, cable utilization, Domain Name Services and IP address use through configuration management. The NOC produces and manages real-time statistics to address performance-related issues across the network.

Web Operations Center
The Web Operations Center (WOC) is a unified web service used by all organizational units in NOAA. The WOC acts as a data repository for NOAA where public information can be posted to a secure and scalable content server. Aside from content management and delivery, the WOC supports protocols and applications for time server synchronization, network news, data archiving, archived video streaming and collaboration services.

Administrative and Financial Systems Support
NOAA's administrative computing center provides IT oversight, systems analysis, design, and programming support for NOAA's financial and administrative applications. The full life-cycle management of these systems ensures the delivery of efficient, effective, and accessible solutions in compliance with procedures, policies and DOC and NOAA the enterprise architectures. This support serves the NOAA financial and administrative community, as well as users in the Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and Economic Development Administration (EDA).

Helpdesk and Systems Support
Local area network and related computer hardware and software support are provided by the OCIO for NOAA's corporate offices in the Washington DC area and corporate field offices in Boulder, Kansas City, Norfolk and Seattle. The OCIO provides life-cycle replacement and helpdesk support for servers, desktops, laptops, PDAs, switches, routers, cabling, printers, remote connection capabilities and telecommunications.

IT Workforce Management and Development
Having a highly-skilled IT workforce is crucial to NOAA's ability to meet mission goals. As NOAA continues to streamline IT resources, resulting in more enterprise-wide programs, we must also ensure the IT workforce is well versed in such areas as IT project and risk management. The OCIO works in partnership with NOAA's Workforce Management Office to develop, implement and communicate strategies to recruit, retain and manage a fully trained and qualified IT workforce, to meet current and future mission requirements.

About the CIO

OCIO Program Links