What GAO Found
Information technology (IT) acquisition best practices have been developed by both industry and the federal government to help guide the successful acquisition of investments. For example, GAO recently reported on nine critical factors underlying successful major IT acquisitions. Factors cited included (1) program officials were actively engaged with stakeholders and (2) prioritized requirements.
One key IT reform initiative undertaken by the
GAO has issued a series of reports on Dashboard accuracy and, in 2011, found that while there were continued issues with the accuracy and reliability of cost and schedule data, the accuracy of these data had improved over time. Further, a recent GAO report found that selected agencies' ratings were mostly or completely consistent with investment risk. However, this report also noted that agencies had removed major investments from the IT Dashboard, representing a troubling trend toward decreased transparency and accountability. Additionally, GAO reported that as of
In an effort to consolidate the growing number of federal data centers, OMB launched a consolidation initiative intended to close 40 percent of government data centers by 2015, and in doing so, save
To better manage the government's existing IT systems, OMB launched the PortfolioStat initiative, which, among other things, requires agencies to conduct annual reviews of their IT investments and make decisions on eliminating duplication. GAO reported that agencies continued to identify duplicative spending as part of PortfolioStat and that this initiative has the potential to save at least
Why GAO Did This Study
The federal government reportedly plans to spend at least
GAO has previously reported and testified that federal IT projects too frequently fail and incur cost overruns and schedule slippages while contributing little to mission-related outcomes. Numerous best practices and administration initiatives are available for agencies that can help them improve the oversight and management of IT acquisitions.
GAO is testifying today on the results and recommendations from selected reports that focused on how best practices and IT reform initiatives can help federal agencies better manage major acquisitions and legacy investments.
What GAO Recommends
GAO has previously made numerous recommendations to OMB and federal agencies on key aspects of IT acquisition management, as well as the oversight and management of these investments. In particular, GAO has made recommendations regarding the IT Dashboard, efforts to consolidate federal data centers, and PortfolioStat.
For more information, contact
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