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To facilitate ongoing enterprise architecture efforts across the U.S. federal government, the Architecture and Infrastructure Committee of the federal CIO Council created the Chief Architects Forum (CAF) in April 2004. The members of the CAF include the chief architects from federal departments and agencies. These individuals are responsible for ensuring that the technical infrastructures of their agencies are able to fully support the operational needs of their agencies. While this requires a strong understanding of the business functions of their agencies, enterprise architects are primarily focused just on building and maintaining the technology (hardware and software).

In contrast, CIOs are generally responsible for both operational and technological issues and serve at a higher, executive-level capacity. Also, while the department-level CIO position and responsibilities are statutorily defined by the Clinger-Cohen Act,[1] individuals serving as chief architects may be doing so in addition to other assigned responsibilities. The CAF meets quarterly and, similar to the CIO Council, serves as a means for sharing information and identifying solutions to common problems.


  1. Pub. L. No. 104-106.