OMB says IT projects are improving

OMB Management Watch List

Agencies are improving how they plan, manage and monitor their information technology investments, the Office of Management and Budget said today.

In the latest release of the Management Watch and High Risk lists, OMB officials said it had removed 163 business cases from the Management Watch List since Dec. 31, 2006. The remaining business cases would be worth $9.7 billion under the fiscal 2008 budget request.

The High Risk List grew from 477 to 549 projects in the last quarter because of increased oversight, White House officials said. The projects would be worth $12.9 billion in fiscal 2008.

The Commerce and Transportation departments had almost all of its business cases removed from the management list, while the Veterans Affairs Department did not fix the problems with its 37 business cases on the list last December.

“Agencies have made great strides in holding themselves accountable for results and strengthening their ability to manage these important investments,” said Karen Evans, OMB’s administrator for e-government and IT, in a press release. “We have more to do, and we will continue to work with agencies to ensure projects on the list are meeting their goals on time and on budget.”

The Treasury Department increased the number of its projects on the High Risk List from 40 to 85, while the Homeland Security Department decreased the number of its projects from 76 to 65 as of December.

OMB started the Management Watch List in 2002, but for many years, it did not disclose the list. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) forced Bush administration officials to release the agency’s watch lists for the first time last fall.

The Management Watch List highlights business cases that are missing a key function such as IT security, a qualified project manager, or the ability to stay within 10 percent of its goals for cost, schedule or performance. The High Risk List is for initiatives that are highly visible but not necessarily in trouble.

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