Are you in OMB's high-risk project crosshairs?

OMB targets mission-critical projects that risk failure

Editor's note: This article was corrected at 1:30 p.m., Sept. 14, 2010, to update the name of the contractor, Lockheed Martin, on the FBI's Sentinel program.

When the White House released a list of 26 high-risk information technology projects on Aug. 23, federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra was quick to point out that it wasn’t a hit list.

“This is not about killing projects. It is about making them work better and faster,” he said. “These programs are mission-critical. Their objectives remain as important as ever.”

The idea behind the list is to bring attention to the projects and get them back on track. Still, the list does name names, and extra support also means extra scrutiny.

Below are summaries of the 26 projects and links to background information where available. In some cases, the Office of Management and Budget’s IT Dashboard does not provide information on the projects. The ratings are based on a scale of one to 10.

For many, we've added links to stories in our archives about these projects.

Agency: Agriculture Department 
Project: Web-Based Supply Chain Management
Description: The Web-Based Supply Chain Management system is designed to replace the Processed Commodities Inventory Management System. The new system will be used to manage USDA’s commodity operations, including the purchasing and distribution of $2.5 billion in products to participants in a number of domestic and foreign feeding programs.
Rating: 3.3
Value: $278 million
Contractor: Mitre Corp.
More information

Agency: Commerce Department
Project: Export Control Automated Support System 2000+
Description: The system seeks to help the Bureau of Industry and Security maintain and strengthen U.S. export control and treaty compliance systems, integrate non-U.S. actors to create a more effective global export control and treaty compliance system, and ensure U.S. technology leadership in industries that are essential to national security.
Rating: 2.5
Value: $64.5 million
Contractors: Knowcean Consulting, Stanley Inc.
More information

Agency: Commerce Department
Project: Patent File Wrapper Program
Description: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Patent File Wrapper supports patent examiners and includes workflow, messaging, intelligent text and content management. Goals are to minimize indexing tasks, avoid double data entry, improve the Image File Wrapper system, and improve flexibility for remote users.
Rating: 2.5
Value: $276.5 million
Contractor: Computer Sciences Corp., Raytheon Technical Services Co.
More information

Agency: Defense Department
Project: Expeditionary Combat Support System
Description: The network- and information-centric logistics system will use Web technology to connect across the spectrum of logistics functions necessary to support warfighters.
Rating: 4.4
Value: $2 billion
Contractor: NA
Background: DOD tries a new risk strategy (FCW, Sept. 9, 2009)
CSC's growth focuses on cyber, health and independence (WT, June 10, 2010)
Defense projects top 2010 federal IT wish list (WT, May 22, 2009)
CSC resumes AF expeditionary combat system work
(WT, March 20, 2007)
More information

Agency: Navy
Project: Future Pay and Personnel System
Description: DOD officials have told the Office of Management and Budget that they would make information available in September.
Rating: NA
Value: NA
Contractor: NA
More information: NA

Agency: Army
Project: Army Integrated Personnel and Pay System
Description: DOD officials have told the Office of Management and Budget that they would make information available in September.
Rating: NA
Value: NA
Contractor: NA
More information: NA

Agency: Air Force
Project: Air Force Integrated Personnel and Pay System
Description: DOD officials have told the Office of Management and Budget that they would make information available in September.
Rating: NA
Value: NA
Contractor: NA
More information: NA

Agency: Food and Drug Administration
Project: MedWatch Plus
Description: The system includes two components: the MedWatch Plus Portal to receive and process adverse-event reports and the Adverse Event Reporting System to allow for scientific and quantitative analysis of reports. The goal is to improve patient and consumer safety.
Rating: 5.0
Value: $78 million
Contractor: High Performance Technologies Inc., Novad Management Consulting, McFadden and Associates Inc. Contractors were not named for three other contracts.
Background: Food-safety, public health surveillance IT highlight FDA fiscal 2011 budget request (FCW, Feb. 12, 2010)
FDA looks toward major IT overhaul
(WT, April 5, 2010)
More information

Agency: Homeland Security Department
Project: NFIP Information Technology Systems and Services (2011)
Description: The project provides the underlying IT support for the National Flood Insurance Program.
Rating: 0.0
Value: $101.2 million
Contractor: NA
More information

Agency: Homeland Security Department
Project: Homeland Security Information Network
Description: The network is supposed to provide a trusted national platform for secure but unclassified information sharing and collaboration among federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, private-sector and international partners involved in homeland security operations.
Rating:
2.5
Value: $473.4 million
Contractor: General Dynamics, Blackstone Technology Group, Nortel Government Solutions Inc., Eagle Enterprise LLC, Govplace
Background: DHS official defends HSIN Next Gen (FCW, July 31, 2008)
Portal consolidation to improve DHS' info sharing
(WT, Jan. 18, 2008)
More information

Agency: Homeland Security Department
Project: Automated Commercial Environment / International Trade Data System
Description: The Web-based system consolidates seven cargo-processing systems into a single portal. It will provide Customs and Border Protection personnel with tools and information to decide—before a shipment reaches U.S. borders—what cargo should be targeted because it poses a potential risk and what cargo should be expedited because it complies with U.S. laws.
Rating: 2.5
Value: $4.5 billion
Contractor: IBM Corp., Centech Group, Robbins-Gioia LLC, Stratecon, Amdex Corp.
Background: Spymasters in search of forecasting software to enhance intell analysis (FCW, July 1, 2010)
More cards to deal: ACE program moves forward as IBM wrestles with more challenges (WT, May 22, 2008)
More information

Agency: Housing and Urban Development
Project: Transformation Initiative
Description: The effort focuses on modernizing software platforms, integrating disparate databases and systems, standardizing tools, stabilizing the IT infrastructure to reduce the number of slow responses and time-outs, and enhancing the system for business intelligence reporting.
Rating:
4.1
Value: $312.2 million
Contractor: NA
More information

Agency: Interior Department
Project: Consolidated Infrastructure Automation Telecom
Description: The project focuses on three key areas: supporting governmentwide initiatives to implement open and transparent government; implementing a new unified framework to integrate IT development, modernization and enhancement; and maintaining a stable IT environment for Interior's mission.
Rating:
5.0
Value: $7.6 billion
Contractor: NA
More information

Agency: Interior Department
Project: Incident Management Analysis and Reporting System
Description: The project seeks to provide a departmentwide information collection, analysis and reporting system for incident information.
Rating:
4.8
Value: $122.8 million
Contractor: NA
More information

Agency: Justice Department
Project: Next Generation Identification
Description: The FBI's project seeks to provide timely, relevant criminal justice information to the law enforcement community.
Rating:
5.0
Value: $3.4 billion
Contractors: Lockheed Martin, IBM
Background: IBM joins Lockheed on FBI identification contract (WT, May 2, 2008)
FBI's billion-dollar biometric plan (GCN, July 2, 2008)
More information

Agency: Justice Department
Project: Sentinel
Description: The FBI's fully automated, Web-based case management system is designed to support law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
Rating:
2.5
Value: $556.9 million
Contractor: Lockheed Martin
Background: FBI looks in-house to complete Sentinel system (FCW, July 30, 2010)
The FBI's Sentinel is under close watch (GCN, Jan. 9, 2006)
More information

Agency: Justice Department
Project: Litigation Case Management System
Description: The project seeks to develop and implement a common case management solution for the department's eight major litigating divisions.
Rating:
2.5
Value: $128.3 million
Contractor: eMentum Inc.
Background: Budget would double money for Justice IT fund (FCW, Feb. 2, 2010)
EMentum helps Justice simplify case load management (WT, May 5, 2009)
More information

Agency: Transportation Department
Project: En Route Automation Modernization
Description: The project seeks to replace the air traffic control automation system at Air Route Traffic Control Centers.
Rating:
0.0
Value: $3.7 billion
Contractors: Lockheed Martin
Background: The return of Ada (GCN, April 11, 2008)
FAA faces management, technical, funding challenges
(FCW, Feb. 11, 2008)
More information

Agency: Treasury Department
Project: Consolidated Enterprise Identity Management
Description: The project seeks to implement identity and access management integration through a phased approach.
Rating:
1.6
Value: $432.5 million
Contractor: Paradigm Solutions, Deloitte Consulting
More information

Agency: Treasury Department
Project: IT Infrastructure Telecommunications Systems and Support
Description: The project seeks to provide steady-state funding for bureaus' wide-area networks, metropolitan-area (and campus-area) networks, local-area networks, Internet access, remote access services, local and long-distance calling, and videoconferencing.
Rating:
2.5
Value: $2.8 billion
Contractors: AT&T, RS Information Systems (now Wyle Information Systems), Booz Allen Hamilton
Background: Treasury awards AT&T $270 million Networx task order (FCW, Sept. 24, 2007)
More information

Agency: Veterans Affairs Department
Project: Paperless Delivery of Veterans Benefits
Description: The goal of the consolidation and integration project is to create a paperless process for administering veterans' benefits.
Rating:
4.9
Value: $579.2 million
Contractor: NA
Background: VA, DOD to create lifetime e-record (FCW, April 9, 2009)
More information

Agency: Veterans Affairs Department
Project: Medical 21st Century HealtheVet Pharmacy
Description: The Pharmacy Re-Engineering and IT Support project is intended to address current and future pharmacy business requirements through re-engineering, new development and purchase of commercial products.
Rating:
2.8
Value: $163.9 million
Contractor: NA
More information

Agency: General Services Administration
Project: Federal Supply Service 19
Description: The system, operational since 1980, supports FAS' offices of General Supplies and Services, Integrated Technology Services, Assisted Acquisition Services, and Acquisition Management in attaining their goals of providing the best value for customers.
Rating:
5.0
Value: $376.2 million
Contractors: Savvis Federal Systems, Unisys
More information

Agency: National Archives and Records Administration
Project: Electronic Records Archives Program
Description: The program seeks to provide access to all types of electronic records via the Internet—by anyone, anywhere, at any time—across time and technology.
Rating:
5.0
Value: $994.9 million
Contractor: Northrop Grumman
Background: GAO gives NARA high marks for e-records project (WT, July 18, 2005)
NARA sets ERA release date
(GCN, May 22, 2006)
More information

Agency: Office of Personnel Management
Project: Retirement Systems Modernization Program
Description: The program seeks to automate retirement processes using modern technology to ensure that retirees and annuitants are paid accurately and receive high-caliber customer service.
Rating:
5.0
Value: $136 million
Contractor: Northrop Grumman
Background: GAO raises red flags on retirement systems modernization (FCW, Feb. 4, 2008)
More information

Agency: Social Security Administration
Project: Citizen Access Routing Enterprise through 2020
Description: The services contract replaces two others and seeks to provide interactive voice response and call-center agent services via SSA's national toll-free number.
Rating:
5.1
Value: $599.3 million
Contractor: NA
More information

Reader comments

Tue, Oct 12, 2010

Wasn't CSC was the contractor for the DOJ Litigation Case Management System (LCMS)?

Thu, Aug 26, 2010 Barry Virginia

One must wonder if any project with a scope in the high tens or hundreds of millions of dollars can hope to be successful. If not, then the federal contracting regulations that bludgeon agencies into to putting everything including the kitchen sink into a single procurement may be the root cause for the failure of projects too large to begin with. Most development disciplines caution planners never to attempt too much at the outset, yet we constantly see efforts with targets over $100m. What is wrong with this picture?

Wed, Aug 25, 2010

Lockheed Martin is the contractor on FBI's SENTINEL program.

Wed, Aug 25, 2010

SRA is the prime contractor for the Agriculture Department Web-Based Supply Chain Management system.

Wed, Aug 25, 2010

I wonder why the Army, Navy, and Air Force each need their own, separate pay and personnel systems. They all do essentially the same things. It is also interesting that no information on cost was provided for those three projects. In total (without those numbers) the list includes slightly less than $30 BILLION in high risk projects.

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