DHS IT project terminated after White House review

Other projects scaled back

Officials have killed a Homeland Security department IT project for processing flood insurance claims after an extensive review. The program was one of 26 IT programs the Obama administration has identified as high-priority projects.

Federal CIO Vivek Kundra gave brief details on that and three of the other projects during a presentation late Wednesday to update the progress of the project reviews. This morning, officials will outline their plans to implement governmentwide IT management reforms.

In the Wednesday event, Kundra said that officials had reduced the lifecycle budget of the Interior Department's Consolidated Infrastructure Automation Telecom System by $500 million, achieved by consolidating 210 data centers into 115 and shifting to a cloud system.


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At the National Archives and Records Administration, the budget of its Electronic Records Archives system was reduced by $215 million. Kundra said the system was five years into development but had limited usage. He also said that the Obama administration increased the usage of the system from 80 terabytes to 122 terabytes.

And, at the Department of Agriculture, the administration made improvements to the web-based Supply Chain Management system by significnatly increasing the number of online users. 

Jeffrey Zients, OMB’s deputy director for management and chief performance officer, said overall the administration has accelerated deliverability of functionality for seven projects, scaled back eight projects and terminated one (the DHS system).

These steps, he said, will reduce the budget by $1.3 million in lifecycle costs and cut the time to achive functionality from an average of two years to eight months.

Zients said that two of the high-priority project reviews were completed in October and 16 this month. The remaining eight projects will be assessed before February when the budget comes out, he said.

See the full list here.

Agency CIOs have largely been supportive of the review process, even though it sometimes means changes to their programs, Kundra said.

The IT project assessment is only one part of the Obama administration’s IT reform initiative. Zients said the administration has learned from the reviews and will incorporate these lessons into its plan to overhaul the IT structure governmentwide. 

About the Author

Alyah Khan is a staff writer covering IT policy.

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