Critical Read

GAO's call to action in IT management

cover of gao report

What: Prepared testimony from the Government Accountability Office’s David A. Powner to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, urging federal agencies to implement major IT initiatives.

Why: In fiscal year 2013, the federal government plans to spend $74 billion on IT investments, and "IT projects too frequently incur cost overruns and schedule slippages, and result in duplicate systems while contributing little to mission-related outcomes," according to GAO. In response to these issues, Powner, director of IT management issues at GAO, draws on previous GAO research to urge that "agencies provide appropriate oversight of and adequate transparency into" IT services. 

Powner’s testimony covers OMB’s IT Dashboard, IT acquisition best practices, management of IT operations and maintenance investments, cloud computing, the IT reform plan and data center consolidation. The report concludes "OMB’s and agencies’ recent efforts have resulted in greater transparency and oversight of federal spending, but continued leadership and attention is necessary to build on the progress that has been made."

Verbatim:
On OMB’s recent major initiatives for overseeing IT investments:

 "As part of the IT reform plan, in 2011 the Federal CIO Council launched an initial Best Practices platform on http://www.CIO.gov to provide agency case studies that demonstrate best practices in managing federal IT systems. According to OMB, agencies have been encouraged to develop practices that focus on early, frequent, and constructive communication during the acquisition process so that the government clearly understands the marketplace and can obtain an effective solution at a reasonable price."

Read the Report

To download the full report, click here.

On IT Dashboard:

 "We recommend that the agencies take steps to improve the accuracy and reliability of their Dashboard information, and that OMB improve how it rates investments relative to current performance and schedule variance."

On Data Center Consolidation:

 "We recommended that the five selected agencies should implement recognized best practices when establishing schedules and cost estimates for their consolidation efforts and that OMB ensure agencies utilize its standardized cost model across the consolidation initiative."

On Cloud Computing:

 "...Only nine agencies reported having approved and documented policies and procedures for writing comprehensive agreements with vendors when using cloud computing."

 "Among other things, we recommend that OMB establish milestones for completing a strategy for implementing the federal cloud computing initiative."


 

About the Author

Emily Cole is an editorial intern for FCW.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

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

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group