When corporations merge, executives routinely consolidate functions that are duplicative. These functions include human resources, back-office operations and information technology. In doing so, executives look to consolidate the business processes and IT systems that support the functions. The idea is a company doesn't need two HR systems, two payment systems, two e-mail systems and so on. After all, consolidation is a large part of what makes the merger financially viable -- creating economies of scale that present efficiencies that reduce unit costs.
The same theory can be applied to government, and the Bush administration has tried to do just that with its lines of business initiative.
Find all you wanted to learn about the lines of business initiative and more in Government Executive's new in-depth profile section: The Basics
-Martin Bosworth, GovExec.com