Kundra To unveil Web portal for agency projects

White House Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra said today he hopes to unveil in the next week an Internet-based interactive dashboard that will make available in a single location details about every major information technology project pursued by the federal government.

The Web site will let the public see each initiative's goals, schedule, cost outlays, key personnel, contractors employed, and where the effort stands in real time.

Kundra launched a similar program as chief technology officer for the District of Columbia, where he worked before joining the administration.

The plan is closely aligned with legislation introduced earlier this year by Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Federal Financial Management Subcommittee Chairman Thomas Carper, D-Del., which called for a Web site to be updated quarterly with the price, schedule and performance details of major federal projects.

Speaking at a Homeland Security Department privacy and technology summit, Kundra said $70 billion is spent annually on over 10,000 federal IT projects, and he argued tough choices must be made about defunding ones that are not meeting expectations.

Since the 2002 passage of the E-Government Act, nearly $450 billion has been spent on federal IT projects, but many of those far exceeded cost estimates and did not perform as planned, according to Carper's Web site.

Another important part of this transition is making sure that agencies re-engineer their back-end support systems, Kundra said. Protecting privacy in the context of system upgrades and adoption of new services is necessary, but it should be done without being too heavy-handed, he added.

A subgroup of the Federal CIO Council, which Kundra chairs, is working on guidance to help agencies "bake privacy into the architecture of solutions" rather than it being an afterthought, he said.