OMB says agency business cases improving

OMB’s latest High Risk List

The Office of Management and Budget removed 210 business cases from the Management Watch List and added 76 to the High Risk List since February.

In its third-quarter report, OMB said agencies addressed weaknesses and deficiencies in the business cases on the management list. There now are 136 investments worth about $8.6 billion, a decrease of $1.1 billion since last quarter’s report.

On the High Risk List, OMB said it added 76 more projects for a variety of reasons, including their complexity or level of importance. The 553 projects are worth about $12.9 billion.

“Today’s report shows agencies have made progress on fixing identified weaknesses and effectively managing their IT investments,” said Karen Evans, OMB’s administrator for e-government and information technology. “Our focus and priority remains on working with the agencies to ensure their projects meet their established goals on time and on budget.”

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.

In the most recent report, OMB said the Commerce and Transportation departments made the most progress. Commerce removed all 30 of its business cases off the list, while Transportation removed 32 of 33.

Other agencies, such as the Homeland Security and Treasury departments, also made progress, OMB said. DHS removed 32 business cases to get down to 20, while Treasury removed 45 to get down to 16.

The Veterans Affairs Department did not remove any of its 37 projects, OMB’s report said.

On the latest High Risk List, OMB said Treasury had the most projects on the list with 84, including a number of IRS business modernization initiatives and a variety of governmentwide projects.

Other agencies with a lot of projects on the list included DHS with 76 and VA with 45.

In February, Treasury had just 40 projects on the list, while DHS and VA had the exact same number.

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