Snapshot

GAO: Agencies underuse TechStat for IT programs

Agencies are not doing especially well at subjecting at-risk IT programs to formal TechStat Accountability Sessions, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The Office of Management and Budget reported conducting 79 TechStats covering 55 programs as of April 2013, while four major departments – Agriculture, Commerce, Homeland Security and Health & Human Services – conducted 37 TechStats on 28 programs. GAO describes the TechStat process as "a face-to-face, evidence-based accountability review" that allows the government to intervene in programs that are not delivering results.

The GAO found that barely 19 percent of agencies' at-risk investments had been analyzed through a TechStat session. Among the agencies with the largest number of at-risk investments, most used TechStat more often – 58 percent of the Commerce Department's troubled projects had been reviewed -- but the Health and Human Services Department lagged far behind the governmentwide average, with just 13 percent of its projects being put through TechStat.

"The number of at-risk TechStats held to date is relatively small compared to the current number of medium- and high-risk IT investments," the report said. "Until OMB and agencies develop plans to address these investments, the investments will likely remain at risk."

With the exception of DHS, GAO recommends that the agencies with the most at-risk investments address weaknesses in their TechStat implementation. Commerce fully agreed with the recommendations, while USDA officials agreed in part.

The chart below considers only medium- and high-risk programs for the four agencies in GAO's report. It shows the total number of programs in those risk categories in dark blue and the number that have undergone TechStat sessions in a lighter shade. To read the full GAO report, click here.

TechStat Trends

SOURCE: GAO

-->

About the Author

Reid Davenport is an FCW editorial fellow. Connect with him on Twitter: @ReidDavenport.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

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