recommended reading

IT projects may not be getting enough oversight

The White House should do a better job of tracking whether agencies’ major technology projects are at risk of going off the rails and agencies should perform more oversight on their operations and maintenance spending, according to two recent watchdog reports.

The first report, released publicly by the Government Accountability Office Friday, noted that agency chief information officers were more likely to rate their IT investments as low or moderately low risk than high or moderately high risk on the government’s IT Dashboard. The government’s largest technology spender, the Defense Department, listed all of its investments as low or moderately low risk, GAO said.

The IT Dashboard was launched in 2009 as part of President Obama’s open government initiative. Agency CIOs were forced to attest to the riskiness of investments as part of an effort to raise accountability for large IT projects, which have a history of running over budget and past deadline.

The GAO report did not directly assert agency CIOs are being overly optimistic. It recommended, however, that the Office of Management and Budget evaluate trends in CIO ratings and performance and present them along with the president’s annual budget submission. The report also recommended that the Defense Department reconsider its process for evaluating risk in IT projects.

The second GAO report, released publicly Thursday, found agencies were not sufficiently measuring the performance of ongoing IT investments and so may be missing out on potential savings.

Collectively, the Defense, Veterans Affairs and Treasury departments did not evaluate the performance of 23 major ongoing investments that have annual budgets totaling $2.1 billion, GAO said.

The Homeland Security and Health and Human Services departments evaluated some of their ongoing investments but did not evaluate others and did not use all of the criteria OMB recommended, GAO said. 

(Image via Minerva Studio/

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.