HUD software buys 'chaotic'

"HUD Information Systems: Immature Software Acquisition Capability Increases Project Risks"

The Department of Housing and Urban Development spends $360 million a year on information technology, but some of its software purchases are "chaotic" and result in unusable systems, according to a General Accounting Office report.

Some "weaknesses were systemic," the report said. And others resulted in the purchases of systems that do not meet HUD's "information needs, do not effectively support HUD's programs and services, and cost more and take longer to complete.

"HUD is aware that it has software acquisition weaknesses, has stated its commitment to improving its software and system acquisition processes, and will begin a process improvement effort in the near future," GAO said.

In a letter to GAO that accompanied the report, HUD's chief information officer, Gloria Parker, said action is already being taken to fix the problem.

"HUD agrees with the draft recommendations. While HUD agrees that an aggressive improvement plan is needed, HUD believes that a systematic, planned approach is critical for success," Parker said.

GAO studied five HUD software projects: the Public and Indian Housing Information Center system; the Real Estate Management System, the Resident Assessment Subsystem, the Central Accounting and Program System and the Empowerment Information System.

"GAO found a large number of software process weaknesses in all key process areas evaluated," the report said.

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