The popularity of enterprise architecture started from Federal Government via legislation mandate, and then grows into private sectors. The crucial historical event in Federal Enterprise Architecture  was the passing of the Information Technology Management Reform Act (now called the Clinger-Cohen Act)  in 1996. This act mandated architecture best practices for government agencies. It pointed the Chief Information Officers (CIO) in federal departments and agencies being responsible. A CIO Council was established to encourage collaboration across agencies.
The President's Management Agenda  (PMA, FY 2002) recognizes the significance of information management as a core mission of government, and thus gave an impetus to the development of the Federal Enterprise Architecture.
The FEA is developed in the form of Reference Models to provide guidance for cross-agency EA development, to identify and eliminate duplicated investments and to establish opportunities for collaboration in federal agencies.
In the initial design of the Federal Enterprise Architecture reference models, the Business Reference Model was placed at the top based on the assumption that business goals must drive the architecture :
- The GPRA  provided the legislative mandate that required agencies to integrate strategic plans and performance.
- The President's Management Agenda , and the supportive efforts of OMB, require agencies to provide business cases, measures of program performance, and results of performance in order to justify their budgets.
- The Clinger-Cohen Act  requires agencies to establish and maintain enterprise architecture standards, and efforts are underway to build standards that cut across the agencies. Old "stovepipes" are being broken down surprisingly fast, because of the high priority being placed on this requirement by OMB and the White House.
 Federal Enterprise Architecture http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/e-gov/fea
 GAO Enterprise Architecture evaluation methodology - http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d03584g.pdf
 President's Management Agenda - http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budintegration/pma_index.html
 Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) - http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/part/index.html
 Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/mgmt-gpra/index-gpra
 The Convergence of Strategy, Performance and Enterprise Architecture in the