Beyond Compliance

MB&A Whitepaper: Beyond Compliance

In both the public and private sectors, regulatory compliance is often spoken of derisively, as something to be done only to the degree necessary to check off a box, as more of an impediment to real work than a means to measure progress. Legislative acts, in particular, are sometimes viewed as organizational taxes with limited benefits; some see them as window dressing for external stakeholders, with little value beyond that end. This view is misguided for several reasons; even where the value of specific directives is suspect, the surrounding issues directly affect an organization’s ability to transform into a more efficient, productive, and streamlined entity. If nothing else, strong showings may yield more freedom and discretion for the agency, and botched outings can lead to loss of control if OMB intervenes to manage or defund struggling investments.

This white paper covers the general characteristics of the Federal guidance that has shaped the IT landscape and how they impact an agency’s ability to transform. It discusses how these items were expected to work at a high level, and examines the gaps between that intent and the realities of their implementation. The paper follows with an investigation of benefits and, more importantly, an approach to closing those gaps and expanding the usefulness of reporting efforts related to various metrics that already are or should be observed. This includes considerations for the focus, execution, and context for these efforts.

Note: this paper does not cover the minutiae of each governance item, but covers them in broad strokes and directs the reader to source documents for further details.