Information Technology:

Additional OMB and Agency Actions Are Needed to Achieve Portfolio Savings

GAO-14-65: Published: Nov 6, 2013. Publicly Released: Nov 6, 2013.

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What GAO Found

The 26 major federal agencies that were required to participate in the PortfolioStat initiative fully addressed four of seven key requirements established by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). However, only 1 of the 26 agencies addressed all the requirements. For example, agencies did not develop action plans that addressed all elements, such as criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value or duplicative information technology (IT) investments, or migrate two commodity IT areas—such as enterprise IT systems and IT infrastructure—to a shared service by the end of 2012.

Further, OMB’s estimate of about 100 consolidation opportunities and a potential $2.5 billion in savings from the PortfolioStat initiative is understated because, among other things, it did not include estimates from the Departments of Defense and Justice. GAO’s analysis, which includes these estimates, shows that, collectively, the 26 agencies are reporting about 200 opportunities and at least $5.8 billion in potential savings through fiscal year 2015.

Five selected agencies—the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, the Interior, the Treasury, and Veterans Affairs—identified 52 consolidation initiatives, along with other IT management improvements, and estimated at least $3.7 billion in potential cost savings through fiscal year 2015. However, four agencies did not always provide sufficient support for all of their estimates, and they varied in their use of processes—such as an enterprise architecture and a method for assessing the value of investments—recommended by OMB to identify consolidation opportunities. More consistently using these tools may reveal further opportunities for consolidation, and better support for estimated savings may increase the chances that they will be achieved.

OMB‘s fiscal year 2013 PortfolioStat guidance identifies a number of planned improvements but does not fully address certain weaknesses in the implementation of the initiative, such as limitations in CIOs’ authority, weaknesses in agencies’ commodity IT baselines, accountability for migrating selected commodity IT areas, or the information on agencies’ progress that OMB intends to make public.

Why GAO Did This Study

Federal agencies plan to spend at least $82 billion on IT in fiscal year 2014, and GAO has previously reported on challenges in identifying and reducing duplicative IT investments. In 2012, OMB launched its PortfolioStat initiative—a process where agencies gather information on their IT investments and develop plans for consolidation and increased use of shared-service delivery models.GAO was asked to review the implementation of PortfolioStat. GAO’s objectives were to (1) determine whether agencies completed key required PortfolioStat actions, (2) evaluate selected agencies’ plans for making portfolio improvements and achieving associated cost savings, and (3) evaluate OMB’s plans to improve the PortfolioStat process. To do this, GAO analyzed plans, status reports, and other documentation from agencies and interviewed agency and OMB officials. GAO also interviewed officials and reviewed documentation from five agencies selected based on their IT expenditures and management structures.

What GAO Recommends

GAO is recommending, among other things, that OMB require agencies to fully disclose limitations in CIOs’ ability to exercise their authority and that 24 agencies take steps to improve their PortfolioStat implementation. OMB agreed with some of the recommendations and disagreed with others; and responses from the 21 agencies commenting on the report varied. GAO continues to believe that the majority of the recommendations are valid, but has removed two, and modified one, as discussed in the report.

For more information, contact David A.Powner at (202) 512-9286 or pownerd@gao.gov.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: OMB took action to address this recommendation. Specifically, OMB memorandum M-15-14 on implementing the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) defined chief information officer responsibilities for managing information technology in a "common baseline" and required agencies to complete a self-assessment identifying conformity with or gaps with this common baseline by August 15, 2015. From this self-assessment, agencies were also required to provide a draft FITARA implementation plan outlining the actions they plan to take to implement FITARA and address gaps in current processes. In November 2015, OMB told GAO that all Chief Financial Officer Act agencies had submitted their self-assessments and their draft FITARA Implementation Plans.

    Recommendation: To help ensure the success of PortfolioStat, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Federal Chief Information Officer should require agencies to fully disclose limitations their Chief Information Officer's (CIOs) might have in exercising the authorities and responsibilities provided by law and OMB's guidance. Particular attention should be paid to the Departments of Health and Human Services, and State; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; the Office of Personnel Management; and the U.S. Agency for International Development, which reported specific limitations with the CIO's authority.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: While OMB did not specifically require agencies to perform the recommended actions, the agency issued guidance aimed at improving the quality of reported data and reducing duplication, which meets the intent of the recommendation. For example, in June 2015, OMB issued guidance (M-15-14) for implementing IT reform legislation commonly referred to as the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act or FITARA. The guidance, among other things, requires agencies to develop an improvement plan if OMB or the agency Chief Information Officer determines that investment data that are required to be reported on a monthly basis are not timely or reliable. The guidance also requires agencies to hold quarterly PortfolioStat reviews with OMB during which they are to discuss how they use category management to consolidate commodity IT assets, eliminate duplication between assets, and improve procurement and management of hardware, software, network, and telecom services. Furthermore, during the PortfolioStat reviews, agencies are to share lessons-learned related to commodity IT procurement policies and efforts to establish enterprise-wide inventories of related information. In addition, during fiscal year 2016, OMB issued three memoranda for improving the management and acquisition of desktops and laptops, mobile devices, and software licenses (M-16-02, M-16-20, and M-16-12 respectively,) which require agencies to maintain inventories of these commodity IT assets and reduce the number of contract vehicles used to purchase them. These memorandums issued by OMB should increase agencies' ability to identify further opportunities for reducing wasteful, duplicative, or low-value investments.

    Recommendation: To help ensure the success of PortfolioStat, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget should direct the Federal Chief Information Officer to require that agencies (1) state what actions have been taken to ensure the completeness of their commodity IT baseline information and (2) identify any limitation with this information as part of integrated data collection quarterly reporting.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: While OMB generally agreed with this recommendation at the time it was made, it did not take any specific action to implement it. In December 2016, the agency told GAO that this recommendation had been "overcome by events" and stated that it had issued guidance requiring agencies to reduce the duplication of commodity informationgy technology (IT) since 2012, including recent memorandums on improving the acquisition and management of laptops and desktops, software licenses, and mobile devices. Because it did not track agencies' progress in completing their commodity IT consolidation efforts, OMB cannot be assured that these agencies' plans for making portfolio improvements fully realize the benefits of the PortfolioStat initiative.

    Recommendation: To help ensure the success of PortfolioStat, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget should direct the Federal Chief Information Officer to require agencies to report on the progress of their two consolidation efforts that were to be completed by December 2012 as part of the integrated data collection quarterly reporting.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: While OMB did not specifically require the Federal Chief Information Officer to disclose the limitations of data reported on agencies' consolidation efforts and associated savings and cost avoidance as GAO recommended in November 2013, the agency began identifying agencies with incomplete, improperly formatted, or missing data in its public reports of agencies' savings beginning in fiscal year 2017. In April 2018, OMB told GAO that it identifies errors as part of the process of analyzing agencies' cost savings and flags the agencies whose data includes errors on the Federal IT Dashboard cost savings page. OMB stated that it does this to be transparent about issues encountered when processing the data (18#600599). As noted in GAO's report, disclosing limitations in reported data provides the public and other stakeholders with crucial information needed to understand the status of PortfolioStat and agencies' progress in meeting the goals of the initiative.

    Recommendation: To help ensure the success of PortfolioStat, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget should direct the Federal Chief Information Officer to disclose the limitations of any data reported (or disclose the parameters and assumptions of these data) on the agencies' consolidation efforts and associated savings and cost avoidance.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: After we made the recommendation, OMB stopped requiring that agencies submit PortfolioStat action plans and instead shifted to tracking the status of the actions agencies agreed to take based on the results of PortfolioStat sessions. For example, in its June 2015 memorandum for implementing provisions of the IT reform legislation commonly referred to as the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (OMB M-15-14), OMB instructed agencies to report on their efforts to address PortfolioStat action items at least quarterly. In addition, in May 2017, OMB specifically instructed agencies to report on the status of PortfolioStat and other action items in their quarterly reports on IT reform initiatives. These actions taken by OMB address the intent of our recommendation.

    Recommendation: To help ensure the success of PortfolioStat, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget should direct the Federal Chief Information Officer to require that agencies report on efforts to address action plan items as part of future PortfolioStat reporting.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget

  6. Status: Open

    Comments: As of April 2019, OMB had taken steps to improve transparency of and accountability for PortfolioStat, as GAO recommended in November 2013. In October 2015, the agency started displaying actual data consolidation savings data on the federal information technology (IT) dashboard. As of April 2018, however, OMB was not requiring that agencies report planned PortfolioStat cost savings stating this was as a result of agency feedback, and streamlining of data collection efforts based upon the decision that reporting on realized cost savings is more valuable than reporting on planned or projected cost savings.In March 2019, OMB stated that it was "exploring better approaches to cost savings as reported by agencies to the IT Dashboard." We are following up with OMB to determine whether these approaches include publicly disclosing planned and actual data consolidation efforts and related cost savings by agency.

    Recommendation: To help ensure the success of PortfolioStat, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget should direct the Federal Chief Information Officer to improve transparency of and accountability for PortfolioStat by publicly disclosing planned and actual data consolidation efforts and related cost savings by agency.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget

  7. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The department of Agriculture provided evidence of several actions which together demonstrate that it has developed a complete commodity IT baseline. Specifically, In September 2016, we reported that the department had a complete inventory of enterprise IT and business systems - two of three categories of IT assets that make up a commodity IT baseline as defined by the Office of Management and Budget at the time of our review (see GAO-16-511). We also found that the department had processes in place to regularly update this inventory and ensure its reliability. In addition, in August 2018, the department provided evidence of its inventory of IT infrastructure assets (the third category of IT assets that make up a commodity IT baseline) and process for ensuring it is complete. For example, the department provided documentation describing the processes used by the Office of the Chief Information Officer, directorates and IT asset owners to manage various IT infrastructure assets inventories that include desktops and laptops, mainframes and servers, and telecommunications equipment and services. Further, the department provided the resulting inventories of these processes and documentation showing these inventories' use in the department's budget formulation and acquisition processes.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency Affected: Department of Agriculture

  8. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: As evidence that it addressed the first action plan element, in August 2018, the Department of Agriculture provided its Integrated IT Governance Framework Guidebook which identifies the CIO as a voting member of the Executive Review Board, the highest level decision-making body for IT spending. The Guidebook also states that the Integrated Advisory Board, a governance board composed of three councils, provides advice and recommendations to the CIO on IT matters. As evidence that it addressed the second action plan element, in August 2018, the department provided its 2017 Portfolio Review template for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat Action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO and (2) establish criteria for wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments.

    Agency Affected: Department of Agriculture

  9. Status: Open

    Comments: In its statement of actions to address this recommendation, the department reported that had taken several actions, including implementing the PortfolioStat initiative (i.e., reviewing, prioritizing, and making decisions about the IT portfolio), and formalizing and implementing a value-based measurement model. In August 2018, the department provided documentation including its IT Governance Framework and CIO Scoring Criteria that guide the agency in prioritizing, and making decisions about its IT portfolio investments and assessing the health and usefulness of IT investments. We are reviewing the documentation provided to determine whether it fully addresses the recommendation.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, as the department finalizes and matures its valuation methodology, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the CIO to utilize this process to identify whether there are additional opportunities to reduce duplicative, low-value, or wasteful investments.

    Agency Affected: Department of Agriculture

  10. Status: Open

    Comments: We obtained support for savings related to the Infrastructure Consolidation/Enterprise Data Center Consolidation initiative through our ongoing work on data center optimization. In August 2018, the department stated that it did not have the support for the remaining initiatives because OMB had the determined the cost savings estimates for fiscal years 2013 through 2015 to be "closed" due to lack of detailed information and confirmation. Given this, we requested the support for estimated savings for fiscal years 2019 through 2021. The department stated that it would have this information by the first quarter of calendar year 2019.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the CIO to develop support for the estimated savings for fiscal years 2013 through 2015 for the Cellular Phone Contract Consolidation, IT Infrastructure Consolidation/Enterprise Data Center Consolidation, and Geospatial Consolidation initiatives.

    Agency Affected: Department of Agriculture

  11. Status: Open

    Comments: In October 2018, the Commerce described its process for updating its IT asset inventory as part of the budget formulation process and provided a mapping of investments to its enterprise architecture as evidence that it had implemented this recommendation. However, the department did not provide any policies and procedures supporting the process it described to us. In addition, it did not provide any evidence of controls to ensure that all investments had been captured in the enterprise architecture. We are following up with the department on these issues.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Commerce should direct the CIO to reflect 100 percent of information technology investments in the department's enterprise architecture.

    Agency Affected: Department of Commerce

  12. Status: Open

    Comments: In October 2018, Commerce officials told GAO about actions taken that they believed addressed the recommendation and provided supporting documentation. Specifically, they stated that they send out an annual data call for bureaus to provide their IT asset inventory as part of the budget submission process. They stated they also perform department-level validation of the bureaus' inventories and aggregate them into a single department inventory. As evidence, they provided a data call memo with supporting instructions and a template for bureaus to establish an IT asset inventory. They also provided examples of three bureau inventories received in response to data calls. In addition, they provided the final aggregated inventory (for fiscal year 2017) and department-level validation of bureau submissions. However, the department did not provide any policies or procedures documenting the process they described. In addition, we could not determine whether the creation of the department-wide inventory was a one-time effort or a recurring activity. We are following up with the department on these two issues.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Commerce should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency Affected: Department of Commerce

  13. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Defense partially concurred with the recommendation and stated that it had efforts underway to further define the department's commodity IT baseline. In January 2019, our contact from the Office of the Chief Information Officer told us that the department had recently established an IT Purchase Request (ITPR) process for controlling spending that had a built-in IT asset inventory process that would address the recommendation. In August 2019, we received documentation on the ITPR process as part of an ongoing engagement. We are reviewing the documentation to determine whether it is sufficient to close the recommendation.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Defense should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  14. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Defense did not concur with the recommendation, stating that the commodity IT construct implemented by OMB with PortfolioStat did not work with the department's federated management process. However, the department agreed that a strategy, consistent with the intent of achieving better buying power and control of commodity IT items, should be developed and implemented within the department using existing authorities and stated that it was in the process of implementing this strategy. In January 2019, the Office of the Chief Information Officer's Director for Performance Management stated that while the CIO did not have the authority to consolidate commodity IT spending, the department had taken actions he believed addressed the intent of the recommendation to gain visibility into IT spending. Specifically, he stated that the department established a policy to leverage its buying power for commodity IT purchases (for example for software licenses). In addition, the department recently established an IT Purchase Request (ITPR) process for controlling IT spending. In August 2019, we received documentation related to those actions as part of an ongoing engagement. We are reviewing the documentation to determine whether it is sufficient to close the recommendation.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in the future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of Defense should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan element: consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  15. Status: Open

    Comments: The department of Defense concurred with the recommendation and stated that it already reported data center consolidation savings and would continue to realize savings from the Enterprise Software Initiative, other strategic sourcing efforts and the implementation of the General Fund Enterprise Business System initiatives. Through other engagements, in August 2016, we had collected support for data center consolidation and Enterprise Software Initiative savings for fiscal years 2013 to 2015. In January 2019, the Office of the Chief Information Officer's Director for Performance Management told us that the department had not been tracking savings generated by other commodity IT initiatives due to the difficulty in doing so, however, it was tracking an "other" category of savings through OMB's integrated data collection instrument (IDC) process which he believed the intent of our recommendation. He noted that the "other" category tracks savings from various OMB IT reform initiatives. Mr. Johnson said he had sent a recent IDC report along with supporting documentation to GAO to address a recommendation made in GAO-15-296. We are reviewing the documentation to determine whether it is sufficient to close the recommendation.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Defense should direct the CIO to obtain support from the relevant component agencies for the estimated savings for fiscal years 2013 to 2015 for the data center consolidation, enterprise software purchasing, and General Fund Enterprise Business System initiatives.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  16. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Defense concurred with the recommendation and stated that, in the future, USACE would fully describe the four action plan elements when reporting to OMB. In August 2016, the department reported that it had addressed and closed the recommendation in February 2015 and cited policies, procedures, and other supporting documentation as evidence. However, the department did not provide the supporting documentation. In April 2018, the department provided several documents as evidence of its efforts to address this recommendation, including an order outlining the capital planning investment management process for the fiscal year 2017. We determined that the documents did not support the department's claims. In January 2019, the department told us it would provide an update on the status of actions to address the recommendation. As of August 2019, the department had not yet provided any update.

    Recommendation: To improve the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO; (2) target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation; (3) establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments; and (4) establish a process to identify these potential investments and a schedule for eliminating them from the portfolio.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  17. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Defense partially concurred with the recommendation and stated that it had efforts underway to further define the department's commodity IT baseline. In August 2016, the department reported that it had addressed and closed the recommendation in October 2014 and described several actions that it believed contributed to addressing the recommendation, including, continued improvements to data center reporting, and greater understanding of IT infrastructure costs. However, the department did not provide any documentation to support its claims. In January 2019, the department told us it would provide an update on the status of actions to address the recommendation. As of August 2019, the department had not yet provided any update.

    Recommendation: To improve the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to report on the agency's progress in consolidating eCPIC to a shared service as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  18. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: As evidence that it addressed the first action plan element, in March 2017, the Department of Energy reported that it had established senior executive level governance boards (including the Chief Information Officer) to oversee information management policy and commodity IT investment decisions for the department. These boards were identified in the department's plan for implementing the information technology acquisition reform provisions commonly referred to as FITARA. Specifically, the plan (which was submitted to OMB) described the Chief Information Officer's responsibilities for overseeing and making decisions for all IT resources and assets primarily through involvement with the governance boards and collaboration with other senior executives. As evidence that it addressed the second action plan element, in June 2018, the department provided its March 2017 IT capital planning guide including criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments. For example, the guide includes selection criteria used by program and staff offices in making funding decisions. In addition, the guide describes processes for (1) conducting post implementation reviews using criteria to help inform future selection decisions and (2) performing operational analyses that should lead to recommendations about the continued use, modification, or termination of assets. While the department did not specifically address whether it reported the criteria to OMB, the capital planning guide references several reports to OMB resulting from the processes described (e.g., the department's budget, business cases, monthly updates to the IT dashboard).

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of Energy should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO and (2) establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

  19. Status: Open

    Comments: In September 2016, we reported that the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Registry of Environmental Protection Agency Applications, Models and Databases (READ) system had a complete inventory of enterprise IT and business systems-two of three categories of IT assets that make up a commodity IT baseline-and that the agency had processes in place to regularly update this inventory to ensure its completeness (see GAO-16-511). We have been following up with EPA to obtain its inventory of IT infrastructure systems-the third commodity IT category--and determine the agency's process to ensure the completeness of this inventory. As of May 2019, EPA had not yet provided this information.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency

  20. Status: Open

    Comments: In November 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported making progress in addressing the three action plan elements through implementation of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) and efforts to assess applications in its inventory. However, EPA did not provide documentation describing the action plan items. We have been following up with the agency to obtain this documentation. As of May 2019, we were still waiting to receive it.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO; (2) establish targets for commodity IT spending reductions and deadlines for meeting those targets; and (3) establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency

  21. Status: Open

    Comments: Between July and December 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that it had implemented a managed print service contract for headquarters in 2014 and was preparing to award a new contract to also cover its regions. The agency also reported that it plans to use one of the government-wide contracts identified in OMB's policy on improving the acquisition and management of common IT for its end user computing needs. EPA, however, did not provide documentation supporting these efforts. We have been following up with the agency to obtain this documentation. As of May 2019, we were still waiting to receive it.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency should direct the CIO to report on the agency's progress in consolidating the managed print services and strategic sourcing of end user computing to shared services as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency

  22. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In August 2014, GSA provided GAO a status report showing completion of the migration of the contract writing module to shared services in the February-March 2014 time frame. GSA also provided a November 2013 PortfolioStat action plan to OMB that listed GAO's recommendation as an action item. However, OMB's quarterly data collection process did not allow for submission of progress reports, so GSA was not able to submit quarterly reports. Instead, GSA prepared quarterly status updates officials stated they would have submitted to OMB if a reporting mechanism had become available. We believe that GSA's actions fulfill our recommendation.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Administrator of the General Services Administration should direct the CIO to report on the agency's progress in consolidating the contract writing module to a shared service as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  23. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In November 2016, HHS provided its plan for implementing provisions of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act. The plan, among other things, describes the department's strategy to consolidate commodity IT spending under the department Chief Information Officer through the use of IT Steering Committees. Specifically, according to the plan, the IT Steering Committees are to identify common solutions, ensure effective use of HHS resources, and help eliminate redundant investments. These committees, which are chaired by the HHS CIO, focus on one of three portfolio/domain areas: Administration and Management, Health and Human Services, and Scientific Research. The Administration and Management domain focuses on commodity IT investments.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future OMB reporting, the Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan element: consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  24. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In December 2013, HUD provided a commodity IT baseline. It was comprised primarily of services because HUD was (1) operating under a fully outsourced infrastructure managed services model with two vendors providing consolidated departmental IT infrastructure operations, (2) using an Interagency Agreement (IAA) with the Department of Treasury's Administrative Resource Center (ARC) for financial management services. We had previously reviewed evidence of the interagency agreement with Treasury. In February 2016, we received evidence of the department's other managed service arrangements.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency Affected: Department of Housing and Urban Development

  25. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In December 2013, HUD provided decision criteria which the department stated would be used to prioritize funding requests for its FY14/FY15 internal expenditure plan and assist in identifying wasteful, low-value, and duplicative investments. These criteria address strategic alignment, business value, risk reduction, ability to execute, and operational management for different types of investment. We are monitoring HUD's actions to use these and other criteria in our efforts to follow up on a related recommendation made in GAO-15-56.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan element: establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments.

    Agency Affected: Department of Housing and Urban Development

  26. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In September 2014, HUD provided evidence that it had completed the migration of the HR End-to-End Performance Management module to a shared service at the beginning of fiscal year 2014.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development should direct the CIO to report on the department's progress in consolidating the HR End-to-End Performance Management Module to a shared service as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: Department of Housing and Urban Development

  27. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In March 2016, the Department of the Interior provided its commodity IT baseline and its Information Technology Budget Object Class and User Product Codes Guidance which support the department's efforts to improve the commodity IT baseline. In April 2017, the department provided its updated guidance. The guidance has evolved over time to allow the department to more accurately and completely track IT products and services and thereby develop a complete commodity IT baseline. We believe the department's actions to develop and use the guidance are sufficient to address this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of the Interior should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior

  28. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Between February 2015 and November 2015, the Department of the Interior provided updates on its efforts to establish criteria to identify wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments. The department also demonstrated how it used the criteria for the fiscal year 2017 budget formulation process.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of the Interior should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan element: establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior

  29. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In March 2016, the Department of the Interior confirmed that it had completed the migration of its Enterprise Form System to a shared service by December 2014 and provided documentation showing that is was operational. The department stated it had not reported its progress in completing the migration to OMB because the agency was no longer requiring quarterly updates.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of the Interior should direct the CIO to report on the department's progress in consolidating the Electronic Forms System component of the eMail Enterprise Records & Document Management System deployment 8 to a shared service as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior

  30. Status: Open

    Comments: In June 2019, officials from the department's office of the Chief Information Officer told us they believed that had addressed this recommendation by (1) establishing an enterprise architecture repository including major investments and other "architectural elements" and (1) implementing a process for maintaining the repository. Specifically, they stated they had established the repository through the enterprise architecture roadmap process OMB required in the 2014 timeframe and were maintaining it as part of their information technology acquisition review (ITAR) process. Through the ITAR process, every spending request of $500 K or more undergoes a review for compliance with several items, including compliance with the enterprise architecture. Items may get added to the enterprise architecture database as a result of this review. In terms of supporting documentation, the officials stated that the department's 2014 enterprise architecture roadmap (which we have from another engagement) documents the process that was used to establish the repository a few years ago. The ITAR process document and architecture review board charter which they said they had provided to other GAO engagement teams describe the process for reviewing new funding proposals. They noted the process for adding items to the repository was not documented but stated they could provide reports showing the weekly list of approved items as well as email messages requesting additions to the enterprise architecture repository. We will review the documentation we have on hand and the documentation the officials plan to provide us when we receive it to determine whether it is sufficient to close this recommendation as implemented.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Attorney General should direct the CIO to reflect 100 percent of information technology investments in the department's enterprise architecture.

    Agency Affected: Department of Justice

  31. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In November 2018, officials from the Department of Justice's office of the Chief Information Officer told us that OMB had moved away from the action plan reporting requirements from the time of our engagement to new requirements focused on data center optimization and the use of common vehicles for purchasing desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. [Note: we were aware of OMB's new focus on data center optimization efforts and desktops, laptops, and mobile devices, and the associated requirements through ongoing work.] They stated they were working to address the new requirements and provided evidence to support this claim. Specifically, they stated they were reporting on their efforts to consolidate data centers and meet associated cost savings targets and also on their efforts to use approved purchasing vehicles for desktops and laptops, and mobile devices. They provided examples of status reports submitted to OMB through the integrated data collection process, including a first quarter fiscal year 2018 report on data center optimization and a February 2018 mobile devices service summary. We believe the department's actions meet the intent of the recommendation (to reduce commodity IT spending) and are sufficient to close the recommendation as implemented.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Attorney General should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan element: establish targets for commodity IT spending reductions and deadlines for meeting those targets.

    Agency Affected: Department of Justice

  32. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of Labor completed its commodity IT baseline and submitted it to OMB in August 2014 as part of the required quarterly reporting through the integration data collection tool. In July 2015, the department provided the guidance used to collect and review the commodity IT baseline information as evidence of a process to ensure the quality of the information collected.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Labor should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  33. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In February 2018, the Department of Labor (DOL) provided documentation that describes its efforts to consolidate IT spending under the agency Chief Information Officer (CIO). Specifically, the department provided its Information Technology Acquisition Review Board charter and FY18 IT Spend Plan Guidance which both describe the CIO's role in reviewing and approving all planned agency IT acquisitions. In regards to establishing targets and deadlines for reducing commodity IT spending, DOL has an overall commodity IT cost savings/avoidance target and deadline established by OMB and reports to OMB on its progress in meeting them through the quarterly integrated data collection submission process. DOL officials stated that the department had not established targets for its individual efforts because (1) its key efforts (WebEX and Cloud Email) were not expected to generate savings and (2) OMB was no longer requiring separate targets. We believe the department's actions sufficiently address this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of Labor should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO and (2) establish targets for commodity IT spending reductions and deadlines for meeting those targets.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  34. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of Labor completed the consolidation of nine e-mail systems into a shared cloud-based e-mail service in September 2014. A status report provided to GAO by the department in July 2015, a department fiscal year 2017 IT Modernization and Integration document, other publically-available documents provide evidence of this. In addition, project progress and completion were reported on the IT dashboard.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Labor should direct the CIO to report on the department's progress in consolidating the cloud e-mail services to a shared service as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  35. Status: Open

    Comments: In February 2018, NASA reported that it was making revisions to its enterprise architecture policy that would assist with ensuring that 100 percent of the agency's information technology investments are in the enterprise architecture. In July and December 2018, the agency provided updates on its efforts along with supporting documentation, though not enough to fully address the recommendation. In July 2019, the agency stated it also had efforts underway to centralize IT governance under the Chief Information Officer and this would contribute to reflect all investments in the enterprise architecture. The agency stated it would continue to update us on the status of its efforts to address the recommendation.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration should direct the CIO to reflect 100 percent of information technology investments in the agency's enterprise architecture.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  36. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In May 2015, NASA stated that OMB was tracking new action items identified during its recent PortfolioStat review and, as a result, was no longer tracking the initial action items which were the subject of our recommendation. In July 2015, the agency provided a report updating OMB of the status of the new action items as supporting evidence. NASA, nevertheless subsequently addressed the four action items in our recommendation in its November 2015 plan for implementing the statutory IT acquisition reform provisions commonly referred to as the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act. [Note: In June 2015, OMB issued guidance requiring all covered agencies to develop this implementation plan.]

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO; (2) target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation; (3) establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments; and (4) establish a process to identify these potential investments and a schedule for eliminating them from the portfolio.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  37. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In July 2015, NASA provided evidence it had completed the consolidation of the NASA Integrated Communications Services Consolidated Configuration Management System in April 2014.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration should direct the CIO to report on the agency's progress in consolidating the NASA Integrated Communications Services Consolidated Configuration Management System to a shared service as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  38. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Subsequent to the issuance of the report, OMB changed its PortfoioStat action item requirements for agencies. In July 2015, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) provided GAO a quarterly report it had submitted to OMB showing the status of the new PortfolioStat action item requirements as of June 2015, including one action item associated with improving access controls and another associated with deploying and using web analytics. Many of action items were still in progress. In March 2018, NARA provided GAO an updated quarterly report showing that it had completed all new action item requirements listed in the June 2015 quarterly report.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Archivist of the United States should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO; (2) target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation; (3) establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments; and (4) establish a process to identify these potential investments and a schedule for eliminating them from the portfolio.

    Agency Affected: National Archives and Records Administration

  39. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In September 2014, NSF reported that while OMB had not requested updates to the 2012 PortfolioStat action plan, NSF had prepared documents (for OMB) which addressed the action plan elements in our recommendation. As evidence of this, in July 2015, NSF provided GAO its Information Resource Management Plan for 2013 - 2017 which it stated addresses both elements of the recommendation. Our review of the plan showed that it described the consolidation of commodity IT spending under the agency CIO. Specifically, the plan stated that NSF's CIO has oversight and control of funding requests, budget execution, IT planning and spending, and financial reporting. The plan also described the CIO's authority in each of the key areas identified in OMB M-11-29, including commodity IT. Related to establishing criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments, the Information Resource Management Plan stated that the CIO and IT governance boards work together to both quantitatively and qualitatively evaluate proposed IT investments. In addition, the plan stated that the agency uses the IT budget review process to identify low-value or potentially duplicative investments. According to the plan, NSF's approach to investment valuation includes: (1) evaluation and prioritization of investment proposals; (2) a variety of criteria, such as expected return on investment and alignment with NSF's strategic goals and priorities; and (3) several factors, including the investment's importance to agency mission, level of risk, and adherence to cost, schedule, and performance goals.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Director of the National Science Foundation should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO and (2) establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments.

    Agency Affected: National Science Foundation

  40. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Priority recommendation

    Comments: As evidence that it developed a commodity IT baseline, in March 2017, NRC provided an information technology (IT) asset inventory submitted to OMB in May 2016, and reports listing mobile devices and services, desktops and laptops, and software licenses submitted to OMB in February 2017. NRC also provided evidence of actions to centralize the commodity IT baseline under the Chief Information Officer, establish controls to ensure commodity IT spending data is appropriately captured and categorized, and restructure its portfolio to ensure transparency into how IT funds, including commodity IT, are budgeted and executed. In May 2017, NRC provided a current snapshot of its systems, software, and hardware inventories. We reviewed the inventories and found that they listed IT assets associated with IT infrastructure, enterprise IT and business systems, the three asset categories included in OMB?s definition of commodity IT. We believe NRC's actions are sufficient to address this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency Affected: Nuclear Regulatory Commission

  41. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In August 2014, NRC reported progress on action items from its 2013 PortfolioStat session which differed from the action items identified in our recommendation based on new OMB priorities. In July 2015, the agency also reported it was working on a plan outlining actions for meeting Chief Information Officer responsibilities, a new OMB priority identified in June 2015 guidance for implementing provisions of IT acquisition reform legislation enacted in December 2014. We verified that the plan was issued in November 2015 and that action items from the 2013 PortfolioStat session, such as optimize investment management and improve mobile contract management, were implemented.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO; (2) establish targets for commodity IT spending reductions and deadlines for meeting those targets; (3) target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation; and (4) establish a process to identify these potential investments and a schedule for eliminating them from the portfolio.

    Agency Affected: Nuclear Regulatory Commission

  42. Status: Open

    Comments: On March 2016, OPM reported several actions it had taken to address this recommendation, including developing a service catalog and standardizing its iPhone platform and server infrastructure, and stated it was gathering documentation to support its claims. We followed up with OPM. In August 2019, the agency told us it didn't have any updates.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency Affected: Office of Personnel Management

  43. Status: Open

    Comments: In October 2018, OPM provided evidence that it had addressed the action plan element regarding the migration of two commodity IT areas to shared services. Specifically, OPM provided an August 2016 interagency agreement showing plans to migrate its financial management system to a shared service and a May 2018 interagency agreement showing plans to migrate its human resources and time and attendance system to a shared service. However, the interagency agreements were not signed. Regarding the action plan element to target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation, OPM stated did that it had targeted laptops and mobile phones for consolidation. In addition, OPM did not provide any evidence of reporting to OMB for either action plan element. We followed up with OPM to obtain the evidence needed to show actions taken to address this recommendation. In August 2019, the agency told us it didn't have any updates.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) move at least two commodity IT areas to shared services and (2) target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation.

    Agency Affected: Office of Personnel Management

  44. Status: Open

    Comments: In January 2018, OPM reported that it had integrated the IT asset inventory process with the OCIO service desk and that a new IT help desk/service desk contract was under development. In July 2018, we requested documentation supporting the agency's claim and evidence of any reporting of the effort to OMB. In August 2019, the agency told us it didn't have any updates.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management should direct the CIO to report on the agency's progress in consolidating the help desk consolidation and IT asset inventory to shared services as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: Office of Personnel Management

  45. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Priority recommendation

    Comments: Between May 2017 and October 2018, SBA provided evidence that it had developed a complete commodity IT baseline. Among other things, the agency provided its documented IT Asset Management Lifecycle Management Process which includes steps for creating and continuously monitoring hardware and software assets. SBA also provided outputs of this process, including a hardware asset inventory, a software asset inventory, an approved software list, and a system and application summary list. We reviewed these inventories and found that they included all the categories and types of commodity IT specified by OMB in its original PortfolioStat memo (M-12-10),

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Administrator of the Small Business Administration should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency Affected: Small Business Administration

  46. Status: Open

    Comments: Between May 2017 and October 2018, SBA provided evidence of actions it had taken to address our recommendation. Our review of the evidence showed that SBA implemented the action element associated with describing action to consolidating commodity IT spending under the Chief Information Officer (CIO), Specifically, in May 2017, SBA provided its Office of the Chief Information Officer Architecture Review Board charter which states that the board is to review all business and technical requirements for capabilities and services related to information systems and to provide an efficient means of acquiring new and enhancing existing systems and that all responsibilities of the board are derived through delegation from the CIO. SBA also provided standard operating procedures for its Government Acquisition Program which, among other things, specifies that CIO is to have responsibility for any/ all policy, procedures and documentation regarding IT acquisitions. In October 2018, SBA also provided evidence that it had addressed the other three action elements in our recommendation. However, the evidence provided was not sufficient to show that that it had fully addressed the action elements. We met with SBA officials in June 2019 to discuss the additional evidence needed. SBA provided the evidence in July. As of August 2019, we were reviewing it to determine whether it is sufficient to close the recommendation as implemented.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Administrator of the Small Business Administration should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO; (2) establish targets for commodity IT spending reductions and deadlines for meeting those targets; (3) target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation; and (4) establish a process to identify those potential investments and a schedule for eliminating them from the portfolio.

    Agency Affected: Small Business Administration

  47. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In November 2013, we reported that SSA had developed a complete commodity IT baseline but did not have a process for ensuring its completeness. Between September 2014 and November 2018, SSA provided evidence of its process for developing a complete commodity IT baseline through its Special Expense Item process which it uses to develop IT funding requests. Specifically, in July 2016, the agency provided an instruction set for the process. The instruction set identified specific definitions for commodity IT assets that are covered in the process. In July 2018, SSA told us that while the commodity IT definition had been removed from the instruction set, the SEI process applied to all IT resources and was used by all groups developing IT requests. The agency provided a data call memo for the fiscal year 2020 President's Budget formulation which confirmed the process's continued use and applicability to all IT resources. With this evidence, we consider the recommendation closed

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency Affected: Social Security Administration

  48. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Between September 2014 and December 2017, SSA provided several documents showing progress and completion (in September 2014) of its effort to migrate the Geospatial Architecture initiative to a shared service. In April 2018, the agency provided evidence that it had reported on the status of the initiative to OMB .

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should direct the CIO to report on the agency's progress in consolidating the geospatial architecture to a shared service as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: Social Security Administration

  49. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In November 2017, the Department of State provided documentation of its October 2017 Enterprise Architecture Investment Review process as evidence that the department reflects 100 percent of its IT investments in the enterprise architecture. The process includes four steps that allow the department to ensure that investments are aligned with the enterprise architecture throughout their lifecycle. In July 2018, the department also provided the enterprise architecture alignment reports for several investments as evidence that it is using the process.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of State should direct the CIO to reflect 100 percent of information technology investments in the department's enterprise architecture.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  50. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In February 2019, the Department of State provided evidence that it had addressed each of the four elements in the recommendation. Specifically, for the first element, the department provided presentations for PortfolioStat meetings with OMB as evidence that it has described and reported progress on its efforts to consolidate spending under the agency CIO. These presentations include information on the department's progress in implementing FITARA, which include elements for the CIO's role in budget formulation, budget execution, and acquisition. For the second element (regarding establishing targets for commodity IT spending reductions and deadlines for meeting them, we reported in GAO-18-264 that the department had exceeded its and OMB's planned targets for data center optimization for fiscal years 2016 and 2017. We believe that this addresses the action plan element as data centers contain several of commodity IT items included in the commodity IT baseline definition at the time of our review (e.g., mainframes and servers). Regarding the third action plan element, the department provided documentation of its efforts to move at least two commodity IT areas to shared services and report it to OMB. For example, it provided excerpts from the department's third quarter fiscal year 2018 integrated data collection report to OMB , which shows progress in consolidating contract vehicles for wireless services (through the State Messaging, Archive, and Retrieval Toolset initiative) and IT refresh and support services (through the Global IT Modernization Program). Finally, the department provided several documents to address the fourth action plan element to target duplicative systems or contracts for consolidation. These documents include (1) plans to eliminate contracts for its consolidation of laptops and desktops in accordance with OMB's Category Management Policy; (2) a November 2017 Transition Plan to Consolidate Mobile Services; and (3) the department's IT Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2019 to 2022 which include the department's plans for reducing duplication and driving costs down by fiscal year 2022 through centralized, integrated, and optimized Platforms as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service and a streamlined IT acquisition process.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of State should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO; (2) establish targets for commodity IT spending reductions and deadlines for meeting those targets; (3) move at least two commodity IT areas to shared services; (4) target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation; and (5) establish a process to identify those potential investments and a schedule for eliminating them from the portfolio.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  51. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Between October 2015 and November 2017, the department provided evidence that it had completed the migration the Foreign Affairs Network and content publishing and delivery services to shared services and had reported on the initiatives through the annual budget process. The evidence provided includes an internal document communicating the completion of its project to migrate the content publishing and delivery services to shared services and a departmental email and bureau announcements informing the recipients that the Chief Information Officer granted the Foreign Affairs Network shared service the authority to process sensitive but unclassified information.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of State should direct the CIO to report on the department's progress in consolidating the Foreign Affairs Network and content publishing and delivery services to shared services as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  52. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In September 2015, the department stated that it would be incorporating these action plan elements as part of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) guidance it would be implementing over the next few months. The FITARA implementation plan issued in December 2015 describes the department's framework for addressing the elements that had not been fully described in the PortfolioStat action plan originally required by the Office of Management and Budget. It also addresses steps for addressing gaps in CIO responsibilities supporting these elements.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of Transportation should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO; (2) establish targets for commodity IT spending reductions and deadlines for meeting those targets; (3) target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation; and (4) establish a process to identify those potential investments and a schedule for eliminating them from the portfolio.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  53. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In September 2018, the department provided us its project closeout report showing that it had completed the migration of 12 operating administrations to the O365 Exchange Online email shared service in January 2017. The department also provided us reports it had submitted to OMB showing the completion of the migration effort as of August 2018.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Transportation should direct the CIO to report on the department's progress in consolidating the Enterprise Messaging to shared services as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  54. Status: Open

    Comments: In September 2014, the Department of the Treasury reported that it did not plan to consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO. Specifically, the department stated that commodity IT investment decisions were consolidated under the Treasury Technology Investment Review Board which is co-chaired by the agency CIO and Assistant Secretary for Management; and that it did not see the benefit of combining the budget authorities of the various bureau infrastructure investments. In regards to establishing criteria to identify wasteful, low-value, and duplicative investments, in September 2014, the department stated that the Treasury Technology Investment Review Board and Technology Advisory Working Group had established an approach that considers risk, value and cost in reviewing investment requests to identify wasteful, low-value, and duplicative investments. As of May 2019, we were reviewing documentation we received from the department in September 2018 to determine whether the recommendation has been fully addressed.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of the Treasury should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO and (2) establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury

  55. Status: Open

    Comments: In September 2014, the Department of the Treasury described several examples of processes it had established to identify opportunities to reduce duplicative, low-value or wasteful investments, including annual reviews of each major IT investment and monthly portfolio reviews. As of May 2019, we were reviewing updated information we received in September 2018 to determine whether the recommendation has been fully addressed.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, as the department finalizes and matures its enterprise architecture and valuation methodology, the Secretary of the Treasury should direct the CIO to utilize these processes to identify whether there are additional opportunities to reduce duplicative, low-value, or wasteful investments.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury

  56. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In September 2015, the Department of Treasury provided fiscal year 2013-2015 cost savings and avoidance data for its Do Not Pay Business Center and Fiscal IT Data Center Consolidation initiatives, as well as the methodology for calculating these savings and avoidance. Regarding the Business Process Management Status initiative, the department stated that it had stopped reporting cost savings and avoidance data to the Office of Management and Budget because the data had previously been reported by a former Bureau of Engraving and Printing official and no current employee could verify its validity.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of the Treasury should direct the CIO to develop support for the estimated savings for fiscal years 2013 to 2015 for the DoNotPay Business Center, Fiscal IT Data Center Consolidation and Business Process Management Status initiatives.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury

  57. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In June 2017, USAID provided its IT Portfolio Management Program Charter and other evidence demonstrating the agency's process for reflecting 100 percent of its investments in the enterprise architecture through maintenance of the system inventory and the evaluation of future investments. Specifically, during the first phase of the IT Portfolio Management Program, all investments are reviewed and approved by the Investment Review Committee (IRC), at which point they enter the second phase. Investments in the second phase are reviewed by the Office of the Chief Information Officer to ensure their alignment with the Enterprise Transition Roadmap. Investments found to be aligned with the Roadmap are approved for project implementation and move forward into the last phase, which means that they are operational. At that point, investments are added to USAID's system inventory.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct the CIO to reflect 100 percent of information technology investments in the agency's enterprise architecture.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

  58. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In October 2015, the US Agency for International Development provided evidence of having developed a complete commodity IT baseline including enterprise IT, business, and infrastructure assets.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

  59. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In response to this recommendation, in May 2016, USAID provided a Decommissioning Plan it had issued that month. The plan, based on the agency's IT asset inventory and other sources, describes USAID's approach for decommissioning and retiring redundant or sub-optimal IT investments. It also lists systems and technology that were decommissioned in fiscal year 2014 and 2015 and provides estimated time frames for decommissioning additional systems and technology in fiscal year 2016 and beyond. USAID also provided documentation of its processes for preventing duplicate technologies, including the Office of the Chief Information Officer process for concept intake, the IT acquisition assessment and authorization process, the software approval review process, and use of the Enterprise Architecture Analysis and Reporting Tool.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation and (2) establish a process to identify those potential investments and a schedule for eliminating them from the portfolio.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

  60. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In August 2014, the US Agency for International Development provided evidence of having migrated its Telecommunications and Operations Center to shared services in October 2012. In October 2015, the agency provided evidence of having completed the migration of email to shared services. Consistent with OMB guidance, the agency has been reporting cost savings and avoidance associated with these efforts to OMB on a quarterly basis through the submission of integrated data collection reports.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct the CIO to report on the agency's progress in consolidating the e-mail and Telecommunication and Operations Center to shared services as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

  61. Status: Open

    Comments: In response to this recommendations, in June 2018, the department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reported to GAO that it had developed an enterprise decommissioning process that meets standards set by OMB and the VA Office of Information Technology. According to officials, this process prioritizes the sustainable cost and budget standards, identifies critical VA business and technical needs, and emphasizes the needs of the Ruthless Reduction Task Force whose function is to ensure redundant functionality is reduced or eliminated and to recommend the reallocation of funds from low-value projects to higher priorities. In addition, VA reported that its Office of Strategic Sourcing is developing processes and procedures to implement FITARA accountability and responsibilities for IT acquisitions. The department stated that the new processes will include a FITARA reviewer for acquisitions over $100, 000 to validate the acquisition strategy before it is submitted to the contracting agency. However, the department did not provide any documentation of the decommissioning process or the Office of Strategic Sourcing's new IT acquisitions processes. We are following up with the department to obtain this documentation.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan element: target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation.

    Agency Affected: Department of Veterans Affairs

  62. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In its December 2013 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Veterans Affairs stated that it had not moved its dedicated fax servers to a shared service as planned because the return on investment was estimated to be significantly lower than planned. The department stated that the initiative was instead being reprioritized and considered for a future budget cycle. In December 2015, the department stated that it had decided it would no longer pursue the initiative because an analysis performed in fiscal year 2014 indicated very little, if any, cost savings would be achieved. The department provided integrated data collection reports showing quarterly updates on the initiative to OMB.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs should direct the CIO to report on the department's progress in consolidating the dedicated fax servers to a shared service as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: Department of Veterans Affairs

  63. Status: Open

    Comments: In June 2018, the Department of Veterans Affairs provided examples of its use of its enterprise architecture and valuation model to identify opportunities to reduce duplicative, low-value, or wasteful investments, For example, the department stated that its Enterprise Program Management Office is working to help the department meet its target architecture by: (1) capturing the requisite enterprise standards, rules, and patterns; (2) collaborating with departmental offices to identify their needs and promote use of the enterprise architecture to satisfy those needs; and (3) establishing a more robust set of portfolios to help inform decisions made during the planning process. However, the department did not provide any documentation to support the actions taken. We are following up with the department to obtain this documentation.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, as the department matures its enterprise architecture process, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs should direct the CIO to make use of it, as well as the valuation model, to identify whether there are additional opportunities to reduce duplicative, low-value, or wasteful investments.

    Agency Affected: Department of Veterans Affairs

  64. Status: Open

    Comments: In December 2015, the department reported that the scope of the Server Virtualization initiative was increased and that the cost avoidance estimates were being revised accordingly. It also reported that the Elimination of Analog Fax Lines initiative was no longer being pursued because an analysis found that it would result in very little, if any, cost savings. In regards to the Renegotiate Microsoft Enterprise License Agreement initiative, the department reported that total savings over a 5-year period were renegotiated but did not provide supporting documentation. Lastly, the department reported that a new economic justification for the One CPU Policy initiative was being developed based on a consolidation strategy, and would be provided when completed. However the department did not provide any documentation to support these claims. In June 2018, the department provided another update on the initiatives which are the subject of the recommendation. However, they again did not provide any supporting documentation. We are following up with the department to obtain this documentation.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs should direct the CIO to develop detailed support for the estimated savings for fiscal years 2013 to 2015 for the Server Virtualization, Eliminate Dedicated Fax Servers Consolidation, Renegotiate Microsoft Enterprise License Agreement, and one CPU policy initiatives.

    Agency Affected: Department of Veterans Affairs

 

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