OMB trims risk lists for IT programs

The Office of Management and Budget has revised its 2008 Management Watch List and High Risk List, with each list reflecting lower numbers than those released with the fiscal 2009 budget proposal in February.


The Management Watch List reflects proposed information technology investments, not individual programs. The new list includes 473 investments, a 19 percent drop from the original 585.


The High Risk List declined from 601 projects to 489, also a 19 percent drop.


The Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 established the Management Watch List, which reflects planning weaknesses that OMB identified in the documents the agencies submit to OMB for approval. The High Risk List, created by OMB in 2005 to complement the Watch List, includes projects that require the highest level of management attention. They are not necessarily projects that are at risk of failure.


Karen Evans, OMB's administrator for e-government and information technology, said her agency removed some projects from the Management Watch List after determining that agency leaders had good management plans in place.


In other cases, agencies that had projects on the lists as part of the e-government initiatives had completed migrations from legacy systems to the e-gov systems, ending the risky migration period and moving off the lists.


Evans emphasized that the lists are only to be taken as indicators of agency performance, and do not tell the full story.


“We would like for the taxpayers to really realize the full potential of the investments," she said. "There are a lot of contributing factors, and this is just an indicator of things going on within an agency.”


 

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

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