Watchdog slams US government IT management

Government agencies must strengthen the management of high-risk IT projects because more than a third are falling short on performance, the US Government Accountability Office has warned.

Government agencies must strengthen the management of high-risk IT projects because more than a third are falling short on performance, the US Government Accountability Office has warned.

A report presented to a US Congress committee revealed that 35% of the 226 high-risk IT projects run by 24 major government agencies failed to meet one or more of four key performance criteria – establishing clear baselines, keeping variance on budget and timescale within 10%, assigning a qualified project manager and avoiding duplication
with other projects.

The 226 schemes account for a total $6.4bn (£3.4bn) investment.

The report said agencies did not always identify projects as high risk, because they did not consistently apply criteria set by the US government’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

The OMB had not compiled a single aggregated list of projects to track and analyse process on a cross-government basis, the report added.

The report recommended that the director of OMB instruct government agencies to apply the criteria to identify high-risk projects consistently and establish a structured process to update them.

The OMB should also develop a single list of high risk projects “and their deficiencies”, the report said.


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