hot site backup service for the Computer Center mainframe
processor, communications, and data storage will cost $100,000.
The remainder of the FY 94 External Services expenditure will be
for communications services such as public or packet data
networks (PDN) , and district office communications.
FUNDING DURING PRIOR FIVE YEARS
To place the FY 94 request in perspective, the funding history
for the previous five years, FY 89 to FY 93, is set out in the
H.I.S. Funding History
Dollars in 000s
* Includes $1,371 carryover available from FY 92
On page 6 the above figures are graphed. They show a steady,
contained growth. The FY 93 appropriation and reimbursement
numbers reflect the reduction in funds derived from the
appropriation source because unobligated FY 92 reimbursements
were available and permission to obligate them was obtained. The
total funds available are inside the growth pattern which can
also be seen in the graph on page 7 .
NOTE: Capital Expenditures. The H.I.S. budgets underwrite
infrastructure improvements in data communications. These
include terminating equipment for frame relay service for
district offices, equipment and software to operate the House-
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wide fiber-optic networks, and other communication facilities
that are shared by the entire House community. H.I.S.'s
investment proposed for FY '94 compared with its expenditures
during the three prior years is shown in the following chart.
Dollars in 000s
House Ethernet Equip.
ASN Network Equip.
SNA Network Equip.
Wide Area Network
Infotap wiring hubs
Although the record shows that under H.I.S.'s responsibility
for management of development and acquisition, cost containment
and technical reliability have been achieved, the funds do not
necessarily belong in, or need to be charged against, the H.I.S.
FUNDING DERIVED FROM REIMBURSEMENTS
Customers : FY
Forecast in $000
94 FY '93 Change
Clerk of the House
Prospective Pmt . Assm.
Other customers are the Doorkeeper, Legislative Counsel,
Law Revision Counsel, Sergeant at Arms, Postmaster,
Members, and Parliamentary Institutions in E.Europe.
A $200,000 reduction in reimbursement from the Clerk of the
House reflects scheduled completion of software development in FY
93; expected new business from the General Accounting Office is
forecast, somewhat ambitiously, at $1,000,000; CBO has gradually
decreased its mainframe usage over the past few years, and a
$200,000 reduction is forecast in FY 94; H.I.S.'s participation
in the Speaker's Special Task Force on the Development of
Parliamentary Institutions in Eastern Europe will begin to taper
off in FY 94, accounting for most of the reduction of revenue
from other customers.
BENEFITS FROM RECENT INVESTMENT
During FY 94, Members and committees will be realizing the
benefits of four H.I.S. initiatives, undertaken in response to
Member requests or identified needs, which anticipated the
strategic and financial implications of technology commercially
available. The four initiatives are:
1. A House data communication networking and wiring plan
based on fiber-optics to provide high speed
connectivity for House offices.
2. A wide area network to integrate the operations of
Members' Washington and district offices.
3 . Distributed processing that enables office systems to
share the power of large central systems .
4. Electronic Mail (E-Mail).
These initiatives are already saving time and money and offer new
capabilities to House offices. The FY 94 request provides for
further implementation of these initiatives as well as
continuance of baseline services and accommodation of expected
The following examples illustrate some of the synergistic
benefits now being achieved:
Member offices can now interconnect personal computer
(PC) local area networks (LANs) in Washington and in
district offices using a new long distance data
communication technology called Frame Relay, which provides
reliable and economical data transmission at high speed.
This service enables use of a single central office database
which can be accessed from any location thus allowing
Members the flexibility to move more of the workload from
Washington to their district offices.
Members can have constituent address databases purified
through the National Change Of Address (NCOA) process by
H.I.S., using the fiber-optic network. Not only do Members
achieve savings in mailing costs, they avoid long and
potentially costly delays because the network allows the
work to be completed and the database available again for
use in a matter of hours.
Members moving to new offices for the 103rd Congress
gain access to operational data processing systems more
quickly and with less cost than in the past because of a new
standard wiring facility that enables computers and
workstations to be plugged into wall jacks without the
expensive recabling previously required.
Access to information once requiring separate
transactions with multiple systems has been integrated and
simplified through the Integrated Systems and Information
Services (ISIS) . ISIS interconnects Member and committee
desktop workstations to midrange super-microcomputers and
H.I.S.'s large central processors via the communication
network to combine the best features of all three computer
platforms. For example, bill status, floor votes, committee
hearings, and similar information now can be retrieved
through a single integrated query. The information can
easily be placed in a word processing document, graphed, or
transmitted by E-Mail or facsimile through a few simple
keystrokes or "mouse clicks".
A new House-wide Electronic Mail system, scheduled for
House-wide release in the first calendar quarter of 1993, is
well received by all who are participating in the pilot
operations phase. Committees and Members with disparate E-
Mail systems are now exchanging messages and documents
electronically. Through the Internet and X.400 gateways
H.I.S. has established, pilot offices have successfully
communicated electronically with Executive Branch agencies,
universities, and NATO. As the Senate and additional
Executive Branch organizations acquire the capability, this
mode of communication will contribute to the efficiency of
THE CHANGING ROLE OF H.I.S.
While the infrastructure improvements cited above were being
achieved in 1992, Member and committee demand continued to grow
across the spectrum of baseline systems, services, and products
H.I.S. provides. Unfortunately, H.I.S. has not been entirely
successful in meeting all the demands for support placed upon it.
H.I.S. continues to undergo a metamorphosis from a
"traditional mainframe" organization to a systems integrator,
using the latest PC and LAN technology, driven by customer
service. Although demand for mainframe services has grown
steadily, the growth in demand for H. I . S . -developed PC and
network products and facilities has been exponential. As Members
and committees continue to automate, more support is demanded of
H.I.S. staff. (With the completion of the standard wiring
facility, H.I.S. has assumed the burden of all in-office
cabling.) Full participation of district staff in Member office
operations will compound H.I.S. support obligations.
H.I.S. 's approach to developing new systems reflects the
transformation; Member and committee staff are enlisted as
partners early in development and testing, thereby providing
H.I.S. technical staff with direction and correction as needed.
Fourteen Member and five committee offices are participating in
the ISIS system development; twelve Member offices, eleven
committee offices, the Office Systems Management Office and the
Congressional Budget Office are participating in E-Mail
development, and two Members are participating in communication
network development .
The full realization of the FY 94 initiatives will result in
a greater use of technology in addressing the workload of House
offices. The price will be a growth in demand for H.I.S. staff
support that exceeds H.I.S. 's current capabilities. To prepare
for this, several steps are being taken.
Some support functions, such as equipment installation
and repair, now handled by H.I.S. staff will be
More procedures will be automated.
A re-ordering of H.I.S. priorities and organizational
structure is expected to result in freeing more staff
for customer support.
Though these actions are expected to improve support
capabilities, the yield will not be sufficient to meet the demand
expected, and five additional staff positions will be needed as
identified on page 3 above.
PROJECTIONS AND OBJECTIVES FOR FY 94
The FY 94 budget request provides the minimum resources
necessary (1) to support anticipated growth in demand for
baseline services, and (2) to continue the initiatives in
Baseline operations and growth in workload H.I.S. services
offered for the 103rd Congress have been augmented to include
National Change of Address processing for all Members, and
implementation of the House-wide E-Mail system to include the
Executive, university and non-profit communities, as well as
other government and commercial entities. Baseline activity now
includes a CD-ROM mastering capability for committee and support
offices. (A U.S. Code CD-ROM has been mastered for the Law
Revision Counsel and published by the Government Printing
Office.) In addition, H.I.S. expects demand for existing
information and technical services to accelerate as most new
Members have expressed a deep interest in information technology.
During the 103rd Congress, subscription to H.I.S. 's MicroMIN
office automation system is expected to grow from 115 to 135
Member offices. Two planned improvements for MicroMIN are to
utilize the frame relay networking capability, and to use the
WINDOWS user interface standard. H.I.S. will continue to update
MicroMIN and improve its capabilities in response to Member
Improvements are scheduled for several systems that support
House administrative operations. They include conversion to the
new Financial Management system and completion of the new Office
System Management system. The use of image-based records
management technology for the Finance Office and Office of
Records and Registration will be expanded. H.I.S. will support a
pilot test of EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) for the Office of
Telecommunications (OT) . EDI provides for direct computer-to-
computer handling of transactions between business partners, such
as OT and its telephone service vendors, thereby eliminating much
of the clerical work involved. If successful, EDI could also
offer potential savings for internal House transactions.
During the 103rd Congress, H.I.S. plans a controlled release
of the new ISIS product. The essence of ISIS design is the full
integration of personal computer capabilities with large shared
databases which are maintained centrally and accessed via high
speed data communication networks. Balancing and tuning of the
technical components will be required to assure a smooth
transition. Of equal importance is keeping the ISIS customer
base within H.I.S.'s capacity to provide staff support.
H.I.S. plans to continue support to other Legislative Branch
Organizations with a view to achieving overall economies of scale
and sharing of systems and databases where possible.
Implementation Of Initiatives In Process Improvements in data
communications are creating new possibilities for distributing
and managing workload in Members' Washington and district
offices. The improvements are providing the foundation for new
services such as ISIS, E-Mail, and NCOA. By the end of FY 94,
H.I.S. expects to have extended frame relay service to eighty to
ninety district offices, i.e. the number that is expected to have
implemented district LANs. H.I.S. will also have converted all
existing private data lines to district offices from analog to
digital technology to improve their reliability and throughput.
With the availability of both private line and frame relay
service, as well as the TYMNET packet -switched network, Members
will have a choice of economically sound and reliable district
communication options that best suit their traffic volumes.
By selectively upgrading segments of the House fiber-optic
data communication network from Ethernet to the newer and faster
FDDI (Fiber Distributed Data Interface) technology, a tenfold
capacity increase will be realized that will enable H.I.S. to .
accommodate the growing demand for high-speed data communications
from Member and committee offices. In FY 94, ISIS will begin to
supplant the Member Information Network as the information system
of choice for House offices. ISIS will provide expanded
databases for legislation, votes, newswire service (including a
newswire monitor) , and federal funding which can be integrated
with desktop word processing, graphic, facsimile, and E-Mail
capabilities. ISIS is designed for easy incorporation into
existing office systems thus reducing staff training and
improving convenience and efficiency.
The new House E-Mail system, which connects all House office
E-Mail systems with each other and with the Internet and X.400
long distance networks, will be implemented in the first calendar
quarter of 1993. In FY 94, its capabilities will be rounded out
to include document translation (the sender's word processor
format is automatically converted to that of the receiver) and
outbound facsimile (allows PCs and MACs to send) , and inbound
facsimile (allows PCs and MACs to receive). H.I.S. will
investigate incorporating inbound facsimile which allows PCs and
MACs to receive facsimile, and the use of the SGML standard in
electronically transporting documents between committees and GPO
as future cost-saving enhancements to E-Mail.
GROWTH IN STAFF EXPENDITURES
As House offices increase their use of information
technology, their demand on H.I.S. for training, service and
other forms of staff support will also increase. The demand for
support together with continued reductions in the relative cost
of hardware and software, explains why the staff portion of the
H.I.S. budget has grown and can be expected to grow in the
foreseeable future. Without the availability of adequate staff
support, H.I.S. would have to delay or even cancel the new
services about to be released and adjust the distribution of its
existing services to fit the reduced support capability.
In Appendix A (page 16), examples of the kinds of routine support
tasks performed in a typical month are identified. They occur
each month and represent the services that users demand that
H.I.S. carry out promptly.
Appendix B (page 18) contains a summary of the improvements and
additions to H.I.S. services that took place during Fiscal Year
1992. FY 92 was an extremely busy year because an ambitious
development agenda was met despite the unusually heavy support
burden described in Appendix A.
SUMMARY OF STAFF SUPPORT ACTIVITY
H.I.S. provides a myriad of information technology, data
communications and computer services to the House. The following
reflects routine support activity during A TYPICAL MONTH in
calendar year 1992.
In the category of Direct Member and Committee Support Services :
H.I.S. installs 48 hardware and software items, assists 113
Desktop Publishing, 163 Official Expenses, and 780 other PC-
based application users, conducts 363 consultations and
demonstrations, satisfies 349 field service requests, prints
900,000 constituent labels, processes 13 Member office
databases through the National Change of Address software,
responds to 3,500 hotline calls, and trains 212 staff.
H.I.S. supports 438 Member Information Network (MIN) offices
(736 registered offices and 10,285 users) accessing 80
databases, performs 42 research inquiries, processes 1,388
MIN system access requests, processes 2,650,273 MIN
transactions, and supports 17 ISIS and 21 E-Mail test
H.I.S. enhances and supports the PC-based MicroMIN
Correspondence Management System installed in 115 Member, 66
district, 21 committee, and three support offices.
In support of Central Computing Services:
H.I.S. maintains 99.98% online systems availability, with a
two-second MIN response time 98.34% of the time and a three-
second response time for other applications 97.18% of the
H.I.S. processes 45,121 jobs; prints 1,501,108 pages;
produces 106,366 microfiche frames; processes 9,734,119
total transactions; and provides 355.72 billions of
characters of disk storage.
In the area of Communications Services :
- H.I.S. supports network connections as follows: 652 ASN
(through 109 terminal servers), 2,382 SNA, 73 leased line,
194 dial-in, 800 House Cable, 2,004 House Internet, 157
House Wide Area (to districts), 192 TYMNET, 10 FDDI, and 8
To ensure availability of Information Databases:
H.I.S. updates and supports access to 131,627 Bills and
Resolutions; 979,695 Pre/Post Awarded Grants; 537,066
Pre/Post Awarded Contracts; 89,724 U.S. Code, Statutes &
Acts; 2,030 Rules, Procedure and Precedents; 404,679
Congressional Record records; 95,952 Text of Legislation
items; 329,175 Regulations; and 861 Committee Hearings.
- H.I.S. maintains 130 public and private databases for House
For Officers of the House:
- H.I.S. processes 928 House legislative transactions, 2,753
Library of Congress transactions, and 511,597 total
transactions; produces 3,519 employee checks, 10,049
employee electronic fund transfers, 16,642 vouchers, 8,460
voucher checks; and prints 47 6,447 pages.
- H.I.S. supports over 30 special purpose custom systems
(e.g., the Office of Telephone Services' Telephone
Accounting System, and the OLC Publication System.)
H.I.S. responded to over 784 requests from House offices for
special services as well as handling the above workload during
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FISCAL YEAR 1992 ENHANCEMENTS
Improved Member mailing operations to promote efficiency and
reduce overall House mailing costs were provided. A House Wide
Area Data Communications Network was implemented to streamline
Washington to district communications. House-wide Electronic
Mail and imaging/CD-ROM applications were initiated. Eight new
information services were added.
DIRECT SERVICES TO MEMBERS AND COMMITTEES
MEMBERS. H.I.S. processed 90 Member mailing lists during initial
NCOA operations and announced the service to the House. The
ability to produce map displays of certain MIN information was
developed and is being tested for House-wide release. Twenty-
five district staff were trained in MicroMIN and seven new
applications were released.
Consultants performed studies and analyses for 175 Member
offices. The User Assistance Office satisfied over 75,000
hotline calls and extended service coverage to 10:00 p.m. for
district troubleshooting. Four new training classes were added
bringing total course offerings to thirty. Over 2,857 staff were
trained. A videotape library of standard training courseware was
established. Thirteen new Macintosh Accounting, 18 Macintosh
Official Expenses, and 158 Lotus-based Accounting Systems were
installed. Over 70 computer-related products were evaluated as
candidates for the House Approved List. A Member Office Survey
was conducted to assess automation, information, and computer
needs. Results will form the basis for One-Hundred Third
COMMITTEES. H.I.S. provided technical support for calendar
production to 17 committees. Several committees were assisted in
upgrading to Local Area Networks (LANs) , converting existing
MicroVaxes to file servers. Overall, demand for PC support from
committees grew 21%. Accounting, Personnel, and Inventory
systems for eighteen committees were either installed or
H.I.S. implemented an electronic mail capability that
interconnects all House E-Mail systems and features an electronic
interface allowing mail exchange with external users via the
Internet and commercial X.400 networks. Test sites comprise
eleven committees, twelve Members, the Congressional Budget
Office. Messages are being exchanged with the General Services
Administration, the Office Systems Management, and the Executive
Office of the President.
INTEGRATED SYSTEMS AND INFORMATION SERVICES (ISIS)
ISIS is a distributed computing environment that fulfills an
organization-wide strategy for providing future information
services. The ISIS pilot, now underway in fourteen Member and
five committee offices, uses three main clients: the terminal-
based client (including the DEC/VAX committees), the Macintosh
client, and the MicroMIN client. ISIS applications included
Votes, Grants, Newswire, File Cabinet, E-Mail, and Legislative
Over 100 Washington offices are connected to district offices via
the House Wide Area Data Communications Network (WAN) . Two
Member offices tested LAN (PC and Macintosh) to WAN Frame Relay
communications. A universal wiring design was implemented in the
Cannon, Longworth, and Rayburn House Office Buildings. As a
result, significant cost avoidance will be realized on future
office moves. H.I.S. provided technical leadership in design of
the high-speed Capitol Hill network (CapNet) . Capacity upgrades
have been made to the House Internet which consists of over 150
PC networks, 3 5 Macintosh networks, 12 DEC VAX computers, and
eight UNIX computers .
SERVICES TO HOUSE OFFICERS AND SUPPORT OFFICES
OFFICE OF THE POSTMASTER. H.I.S. implemented the Mail Accounting
System, and the Address Correction and Postage Due applications,
and developed new Label and Personnel systems.
OFFICE OF THE DOORKEEPER. H.I.S. installed a Personnel system,
and LANs for the Pages, the Press Gallery, and the Publications