HUD IT spending plan falls short, GAO says
Department's plan for fiscal 2010 did not meet Congress' conditions
- By Alice Lipowicz
- Nov 29, 2010
The Housing and Urban Development Department needs a better
spending plan for IT modernization because the current plan has major
holes, according to a new
report from the Government Accountability Office.
To meet Congress’ requirements for fiscal 2010 appropriations,
HUD produced an expenditure plan for its IT modernization projects.
However, the spending plan didn't meet Congress’ conditions, GAO
concluded in the report dated Nov. 23.
For example, while the plan was supposed to describe mission
benefits for the eight projects it covered, but it only did so for three
of the projects, the report states.
CIO seeks help with IT investment system
finds gaps in HUD IT management
Also, the plan lacked
sufficient evidence of each project’s compliance with HUD’s enterprise
architecture, life-cycle management policies, capital planning and
control requirements. It also didn't have proof of adequate staffing,
HUD officials said the problems occurred because of the
department’s interpretation of the statutory requirements as well as
unavailability of project documentation, but they said improvements are
Meanwhile, in its current form, the expenditure plan is of
limited usefulness, GAO concluded.
“Until HUD can submit an expenditure plan that satisfies the
statutory conditions, as well as discloses the risks associated with
each project and plans for mitigating them, its House and Senate
Appropriations Subcommittees will not have the information that they
need to oversee HUD’s modernization projects and hold the department
accountable for project results,” the report states.
GAO recommended that HUD's CIO ensure that future IT spending
plans satisfy all statutory conditions for each project. If a condition
is not met, there should be an explanation of why not, along with
information about what actions are being taken to mitigate project
risks, the report said.
In addition, HUD officials in future plans should clearly
describe the status of HUD’s efforts to implement IT management
controls, along with project-specific risks and risk mitigation plans.
HUD officials agreed with the recommendations.
Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.