Agencies lax on Clinger-Cohen

Governmental Affairs Committee report

Agencies are not applying most of the information technology management

practices outlined in the Clinger-Cohen Act, leaving them without a clear

understanding of how IT is helping them achieve agency missions, according

to a congressional report released Friday.

Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs

Committee, issued the report six months after he and ranking committee member

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) sent letters to 24 agencies asking for an

update on the Clinger-Cohen implementation process.

The 1996 act established the position of the chief information officer

and put in place the basis for a comprehensive IT capital planning process.

But according to the responses turned in by agencies, most are not using

these advantages, the report states.

The report focuses on nine findings, including:

* Roles, reporting relationships and boundaries of authority among CIOs

within large executive agencies and departments are not clearly established.

* IT capital planning and investment control processes have not been

fully implemented governmentwide.

* The quality of data for the assessments of major IT investments and

initiatives for decision-making and for measuring progress is questionable.

* Fewer than half of the agencies reported requiring process re-engineering

of mission-related processes before making significant IT investment in

support of those missions.

Thompson makes 12 general recommendations for how agencies can fully

comply with Clinger-Cohen, including giving CIOs authority and control over

the IT investment and planning process and increasing the project management

and capital planning skills of their IT workforce.

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