GAO: Agencies need standard guide for measuring consolidation

The Office of Management and Budget should require agency officials to use its standardized approach to measuring costs and benefits for their data center consolidation efforts, according to a new report released July 19.

Without any standard measures, the government may not have reliable schedules for closings and achievements. It may also risk missed deadlines, budget problems, and poor overall performance, the Government Accountability Office reported.

OMB is sponsoring the development of a standardized cost model that could help agencies provide future estimates based on a common set of estimates and calculations. The Total Cost of Ownership model helps inform officials on consolidation decision-making, lays out consolidation paths, and assists in developing cost-savings figures and funding needs. So far though, no model has been required. It’s all been voluntary.

GAO recommended that Federal CIO Steve VanRoekel ensure agencies use the standardized model to improve consolidation planning.

Agencies have reported closing 286 data centers by the end of 2011 and they plan to close an additional 346 centers by the end of 2012. Further, the data center consolidation initiative is expected to save about $2.4 billion through 2015.

“However, agencies’ consolidation and savings goals continue to be built on incomplete inventories and plans,” GAO wrote.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group