Snapshot

GAO: Agencies underuse TechStat for IT programs

Agencies are not doing especially well at subjecting at-risk IT programs to formal TechStat Accountability Sessions, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The Office of Management and Budget reported conducting 79 TechStats covering 55 programs as of April 2013, while four major departments – Agriculture, Commerce, Homeland Security and Health & Human Services – conducted 37 TechStats on 28 programs. GAO describes the TechStat process as "a face-to-face, evidence-based accountability review" that allows the government to intervene in programs that are not delivering results.

The GAO found that barely 19 percent of agencies' at-risk investments had been analyzed through a TechStat session. Among the agencies with the largest number of at-risk investments, most used TechStat more often – 58 percent of the Commerce Department's troubled projects had been reviewed -- but the Health and Human Services Department lagged far behind the governmentwide average, with just 13 percent of its projects being put through TechStat.

"The number of at-risk TechStats held to date is relatively small compared to the current number of medium- and high-risk IT investments," the report said. "Until OMB and agencies develop plans to address these investments, the investments will likely remain at risk."

With the exception of DHS, GAO recommends that the agencies with the most at-risk investments address weaknesses in their TechStat implementation. Commerce fully agreed with the recommendations, while USDA officials agreed in part.

The chart below considers only medium- and high-risk programs for the four agencies in GAO's report. It shows the total number of programs in those risk categories in dark blue and the number that have undergone TechStat sessions in a lighter shade. To read the full GAO report, click here.

TechStat Trends

SOURCE: GAO

-->

About the Author

Reid Davenport is an FCW editorial fellow. Connect with him on Twitter: @ReidDavenport.

The 2015 Federal 100

Meet 100 women and men who are doing great things in federal IT.

Featured

  • Shutterstock image (by venimo): e-learning concept image, digital content and online webinar icons.

    Can MOOCs make the grade for federal training?

    Massive open online courses can offer specialized IT instruction on a flexible schedule and on the cheap. That may not always mesh with government's preference for structure and certification, however.

  • Shutterstock image (by edel): graduation cap and diploma.

    Cybersecurity: 6 schools with the right stuff

    The federal government craves more cybersecurity professionals. These six schools are helping meet that demand.

  • Rick Holgate

    Holgate to depart ATF

    Former ACT president will take a job with Gartner, follow his spouse to Vienna, Austria.

  • Are VA techies slacking off on Yammer?

    A new IG report cites security and productivity concerns associated with employees' use of the popular online collaboration tool.

  • Shutterstock image: digital fingerprint, cyber crime.

    Exclusive: The OPM breach details you haven't seen

    An official timeline of the Office of Personnel Management breach obtained by FCW pinpoints the hackers’ calibrated extraction of data, and the government's step-by-step response.

  • Stephen Warren

    Deputy CIO Warren exits VA

    The onetime acting CIO at Veterans Affairs will be taking over CIO duties at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

  • Shutterstock image: monitoring factors of healthcare.

    DOD awards massive health records contract

    Leidos, Accenture and Cerner pull off an unexpected win of the multi-billion-dollar Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization contract, beating out the presumptive health-records leader.

  • Sweating the OPM data breach -- Illustration by Dragutin Cvijanovic

    Sweating the stolen data

    Millions of background-check records were compromised, OPM now says. Here's the jaw-dropping range of personal data that was exposed.

  • FCW magazine

    Let's talk about Alliant 2

    The General Services Administration is going to great lengths to gather feedback on its IT services GWAC. Will it make for a better acquisition vehicle?

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above