Information Technology Reform:

Billions of Dollars in Savings Have Been Realized, but Agencies Need to Complete Reinvestment Plans

GAO-15-617: Published: Sep 15, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 15, 2015.

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What GAO Found

Twenty-four of the 26 federal agencies participating in the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) information technology (IT) reform initiatives reported achieving an estimated total of $3.6 billion dollars in cost savings and avoidances between fiscal years 2011 and 2014. Slightly more than half (or about $2.0 billion) of the savings and avoidances were from data center consolidation and optimization efforts. Notably, of the $3.6 billion total, the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Treasury, and the Social Security Administration accounted for about $2.5 billion (or 69 percent).

Agency-reported IT Reform Cost Savings and Avoidances

Agency-reported IT Reform Cost Savings and Avoidances

Most agencies did not fully meet OMB's requirements to submit reinvestment plan information. Of the 27 agencies required to submit reinvestment plans (including one-time and ongoing plans), 5 agencies had fully implemented OMB's guidance, while the remaining 22 had only partially implemented it. For example, most agencies had not fully implemented OMB's guidance for submitting one-time fiscal year 2014 IT reduction and reinvestment plans as part of OMB's “cut and reinvest” effort. As a result, agencies' plans were substantially short of OMB's overall fiscal year 2014 targets: $3.0 billion in proposed reductions and $2.1 billion in proposed reinvestments, compared to OMB's targets of $7.6 billion in reductions and as much as $7.6 billion in reinvestments. Agencies provided varied reasons for not meeting OMB's requirements, such as that their components had not fully tracked and reported how their savings were to be reinvested. Until agencies complete their ongoing reinvestment plans, they will be challenged to ensure that their considerable savings are being used in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

Four selected agencies—the Departments of Education, Interior, Labor, and the Social Security Administration—had documented key governance processes to guide the development of their fiscal year 2014 budget submission, which included proposed IT reinvestments of $350 million. However, none of the four agencies had tracked the reinvestment performance results. They provided varied reasons for not doing so, and two agencies noted the lack of visibility into their components' reinvestments. The lack of performance tracking is also due to OMB not requiring agencies to document actual results. In addition, OMB has not defined targets for reinvestments beyond fiscal year 2014. Until OMB requires agencies to track actual reinvestment performance and defines targets, it will be limited in its ability to ensure that agencies are actually reinvesting funds as planned and may not be able to hold them accountable. Finally, without improved tracking, selected agencies may lack assurance that their components are reinvesting in areas consistent with agency-wide goals.

Why GAO Did This Study

Beginning in 2010, OMB initiated a series of IT reform efforts to consolidate the growing number of data centers and eliminate duplicative spending. In May 2012, the agency began a “cut and reinvest” effort that required agencies to propose fiscal year 2014 IT reductions and reinvestments.

GAO was asked to review agencies' savings from OMB's IT reform efforts and determine how those savings are being reinvested. The objectives were to (1) assess agencies' progress in achieving savings from their IT reform efforts, (2) evaluate agencies' plans to reinvest their savings, and (3) evaluate how selected agencies have reinvested their savings and governance processes to oversee the reinvestments. GAO assessed 26 agencies' cost savings and avoidance documentation, evaluated 27 agencies' (including the Smithsonian Institution) reinvestment plans against OMB's guidance, and compared 4 of the agencies' governance processes against best practices. The 4 agencies were selected, in part, because they had the highest dollar amounts of proposed IT reinvestments.

What GAO Recommends

GAO recommends that agencies complete their IT savings reinvestment plans and improve tracking, and that OMB define targets for agency reinvestment and require that agencies complete their plans and track actual reinvestment performance. OMB and 12 agencies agreed with GAO's recommendations, 1 did not state whether it agreed or disagreed, 3 had no comments, and 1 partially agreed.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) generally agreed with, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. In November 2018, OMB released updated guidance for agency's quarterly data submissions that noted the importance of providing savings reinvestment information. Specifically, OMB strongly encouraged agencies to provide reinvestment information where feasible, including a description of the activities that were funded using any savings achieved, and noted that failing to provide such information might result in an agency being unable to accurately track its reinvestments. In addition, our 2015 report also included recommendations to 12 agencies to include their reinvestment plans in their quarterly data submission to OMB. As of August 2019, all 12 agencies had either implemented our recommendation or had plans to implement our recommendation by the end of fiscal year 2019. Taken together, these actions address the intent of our recommendation. By providing guidance to the agencies to include reinvestment information in their quarterly submissions, and through the subsequent actions taken by the agencies, OMB has helped ensure that agencies' savings are being used in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

    Recommendation: To better ensure that agencies' IT savings are being reinvested in the most efficient and effective manner possible, the Director of OMB should direct the Federal CIO to ensure that agencies complete their reinvestment plans, in accordance with established requirements, and maintain those plans on an ongoing basis.

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

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) generally agreed with our recommendation, but has not taken steps, or expressed any intent, to implement it. For example, OMB has not updated its annual information technology (IT) capital planning guidance to address how agencies would track or report performance of any reinvestment in IT. In addition, OMB has not issued any additional guidance to require agencies to track actual reinvestment performance or defined performance targets for agencies' reinvestments. Further, in our most recent attempt to obtain a status update in May 2019, OMB officials indicated no intention to implement this recommendation. Consequently, after four years, we closed this recommendation as not implemented.

    Recommendation: To better ensure that agencies' IT savings are being reinvested in the most efficient and effective manner possible, the Director of OMB should direct the Federal CIO to require agencies to track actual reinvestment performance and define performance targets for agencies' reinvestments, as done previously.

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

  3. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Agriculture agreed with our recommendation and has taken initial steps to implement it. Specifically, as of May 2019, the department's integrated data collection submission to the Office of Management and Budget included reinvestment plans for 29 of 54 reported cost savings and avoidance initiatives. However, the department reported about $151.7 million in cost savings and avoidances in the 25 initiatives that did not include plans regarding how these savings would be reinvested. The department expects to provide an update in June 2019. We will continue to evaluate the department's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's IT savings reinvestment plans, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the CIO to ensure that the department's integrated data collection submission to OMB includes, for all reported initiatives, complete plans to reinvest any resulting cost savings and avoidances from OMB-directed IT reform-related efforts.

    Agency Affected: Department of Agriculture

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of Commerce agreed with our recommendation, and has taken steps to implement it. In September 2019, the department provided fiscal year 2018 budget documentation with a listing of new IT initiatives that were funded through efficiencies realized from prior IT investments. According to the Director of Enterprise Services, those initiatives were reinvestments of IT savings from the department's cost savings initiatives. The director also noted that the department uses its departmental and component unfunded project lists to make reinvestment decisions. In addition, the director stated that the department planned to update its IT Resource Management Strategic plan in fiscal year 2020 to include approaches to reinvesting savings from the consolidation of commodity IT resources. By reinvesting IT savings in unfunded projects, and through its efforts to strengthen the department's strategic plan, Commerce is better positioned to ensure that IT savings are being used in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's IT savings reinvestment plans, as part of any future update to the department's information resource management strategic plan or equivalent document, the Secretary of Commerce should direct the CIO to include information regarding the approach to reinvesting savings from the consolidation of commodity IT resources (including data centers) in accordance with OMB's guidance.

    Agency Affected: Department of Commerce

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of Commerce agreed with our recommendation, and has taken steps to implement it. Specifically, in May 2019, Commerce's Director of Enterprise Technology stated that IT savings are reinvested on the basis of unfunded project lists that are maintained by the department and its components. Further, in August 2019, the department's integrated data collection submission to the Office of Management and Budget included reinvestment plans for all reported cost savings and avoidance initiatives. By including reinvestment information for all reported initiatives, the department is better positioned to ensure that savings are being used in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's IT savings reinvestment plans, the Secretary of Commerce should direct the CIO to ensure that the department's integrated data collection submission to OMB includes, for all reported initiatives, complete plans to reinvest any resulting cost savings and avoidances from OMB-directed IT reform-related efforts.

    Agency Affected: Department of Commerce

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of Defense (DOD) partially agreed with our recommendation and has taken steps to implement it. Specifically, in comments on the draft report, DOD stated that it will continue to use its Planning, Programming, Budget, and Execution (PPBE) process as the framework for decision making on all resource decisions. DOD also noted that savings achieved as a result of its information technology (IT) efficiency efforts would be directed to defense capabilities as determined by the department's existing process. The department also noted that it was progressing in making these IT resource decisions and associated cost savings and avoidances more transparent. In August 2017, DOD stated in written correspondence that the department was continuing to use its PPBE process to make financial reinvestment decisions and that, as a result, the department considered the recommendation closed. In February 2019, the department reaffirmed its use of its PPBE process to reinvest savings. As of April 2019, the department reported approximately $905 million in four initiatives in its quarterly integrated data collection submission to the Office of Management and Budget and noted that it plans to reinvest these savings in the agency's core mission. In June 2019, the DOD/CIO's Director of Resources, Program, and Budget stated that, as an example, savings from the Data Center Infrastructure initiative would be invested back into the department's data center consolidation and optimization efforts. By including reinvestment information for all reported initiatives, the department is better positioned to ensure that savings are being used in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's IT savings reinvestment plans, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Defense CIO to ensure that the department's integrated data collection submission to OMB includes, for all reported initiatives, complete plans to reinvest any resulting cost savings and avoidances from OMB-directed IT reform-related efforts.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  7. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agreed with our recommendation, and has taken steps to implement it. Specifically, in May 2016, the agency indicated that it would include information in its next information resource management (IRM) Strategic Plan regarding the approach to reinvesting savings from the consolidation of commodity information management and information technology resources in accordance with the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) guidance. In May 2019, the department provided an updated IRM strategic plan which discussed the Corps' approach to reinvesting savings. The plan notes that the Corps is working to implement OMB's guidance for managing its IT portfolio and expects to reinvest savings from IT infrastructure operations into investments that further improve operations. As a result of strengthening its strategic plan, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is better positioned to ensure that savings are being used in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

    Recommendation: In addition, to improve the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' IT savings reinvestment plans, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army, as part of any future update to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' IRM strategic plan or equivalent document, to include information regarding the approach to reinvesting savings from the consolidation of commodity IT resources (including data centers) in accordance with OMB's guidance.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  8. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of Energy agreed with, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. Specifically, as of June 2016, the department's integrated data collection submission to the Office of Management and Budget included reinvestment information for all reported cost savings and avoidance initiatives. For example, Energy reported that it achieved $1.5 million in cost avoidances from IT contract consolidation and reduced labor costs resulting from the elimination of multiple levels of sub-contractors. According to the department, these avoidances were reinvested into the missions of the various programs that utilize the contract. By including reinvestment information for all reported initiatives, the department is better positioned to ensure that savings are being used in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's IT savings reinvestment plans, the Secretary of Energy should direct the CIO to ensure that the department's integrated data collection submission to OMB includes, for all reported initiatives, complete plans to reinvest any resulting cost savings and avoidances from OMB-directed IT reform-related efforts.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

  9. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agreed with, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. Specifically, in November 2015, the department stated that its Office of the Chief Information Officer will include reinvestment strategies in its next update of the HHS Information Resource Management Strategic Plan. According to the department, the updated strategic plan was expected to be completed by the end of September 2016. In 2017, the agency published its 2017-2020 Information Technology (IT) Strategic Plan, which discussed investing in cybersecurity but did not include information regarding the approach to reinvesting savings from the consolidation of commodity IT resources. However, the department's February 2018 quarterly integrated data collection submission to the Office of Management and Budget included reinvestment information for 331 of the 357 (approximately 93 percent) of the cost savings initiatives. By including reinvestment information for all reported initiatives, the department is better positioned to ensure that savings are being used in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's IT savings reinvestment plans, the Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the CIO, as part of any future update to the department's IRM strategic plan or equivalent document, to include information regarding the approach to reinvesting savings from the consolidation of commodity IT resources (including data centers) in accordance with OMB's guidance.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  10. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of Homeland Security agreed with, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. Specifically, as of November 2017, the department's integrated data collection submission to the Office of Management and Budget included reinvestment plans for all reported cost savings and avoidance initiatives. For example, the department included reinvestment plans for its data center consolidation strategy related to the Office of Management and Budget's data center consolidation and optimization initiatives that have resulted approximately $360.6 million in cost savings. According to the department, these savings were reinvested according to priorities in the department's information resource management strategic plan. By including reinvestment information for all reported initiatives, the department is better positioned to ensure that savings are being used in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's IT savings reinvestment plans, the Secretary of Homeland Security should direct the CIO to ensure that the department's integrated data collection submission to OMB includes, for all reported initiatives, complete plans to reinvest any resulting cost savings and avoidances from OMB-directed IT reform-related efforts.

    Agency Affected: Department of Homeland Security

  11. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Housing and Urban Development agreed with, and has taken initial steps to implement, our recommendation. Specifically, as of March 2019, the department's updated integrated data collection submission included reinvestment plans for one of the four cost savings and avoidance initiatives reported. However, the three remaining initiatives, with savings and avoidances totaling approximately $4.9 million, did not include reinvestment plans. The department expects to provide an update in June 2019. We will continue to evaluate the department's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's IT savings reinvestment plans, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development should direct the CIO to ensure that the department's integrated data collection submission to OMB includes, for all reported initiatives, complete plans to reinvest any resulting cost savings and avoidances from OMB-directed IT reform-related efforts.

    Agency Affected: Department of Housing and Urban Development

  12. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of the Interior agreed with, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. Specifically, the department's February 2016 integrated data collection submission included reinvestment information for the initiatives that we previously identified as missing as of May 2015. We had previously found that three cost savings and avoidance initiatives related to the department's human resource processes and use of statistical analysis software were missing reinvestment information. In Interior's February 2016 submission, the department now identifies $1.6 million in savings related to the use of statistical analysis software that was reinvested in the general office fund for the participating programs and regions. Additionally, the department included reinvestment information for six new cost savings and avoidance initiatives that were added since May 2015. For example, the department noted that approximately $1.6 million in cost savings and avoidances from the Bureau of Land Management's data center consolidation and optimization efforts were reinvested into the agency's primary data center in order to integrate additional collocated systems and achieve greater power utilization efficiency. By documenting this information, the department will be better positioned to ensure that cost savings and avoidances resulting from the Office of Management and Budget's IT reform efforts are being used in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's IT savings reinvestment plans and tracking of reinvestments, the Secretary of the Interior should direct the CIO to ensure that the department's integrated data collection submission to OMB includes, for all reported initiatives, complete plans to reinvest any resulting cost savings and avoidances from OMB-directed IT reform-related efforts.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior

  13. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of the Interior agreed with, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. Specifically, in October 2015, Interior

    Recommendation: To improve the department's IT savings reinvestment plans and tracking of reinvestments, the Secretary of the Interior should direct the CIO to use existing governance mechanisms and any improvements resulting from the implementation of Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform (FITARA) to improve tracking of how savings have been reinvested.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior

  14. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of Labor has taken initial steps to implement our recommendation. As of November 2015, the department stated that it was planning improvements in the area of information technology (IT) investment management in accordance with the Office of Management and Budget's June 2015 guidance for implementing the December 2014 IT reform law (commonly referred to as the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act or FITARA). The department added that these improvements would include the tracking of how savings have been reinvested. Subsequently, in May 2016, the department finalized its FITARA Implementation Plan. While the implementation plan discusses planned actions to improve the Chief Information Officer's involvement in agency IT budget requests, acquisition requests, and program management, it did not specifically discuss planned actions to improve the tracking of how information technology savings have been reinvested. In addition, in the fall of 2016, the department selected a new CIO. According to department officials, the new CIO plans to formalize a new IT governance structure and plans to hold one or more of the new IT governance entities responsible for implementing an IT cost savings reinvestment tracking process for the department's portfolio of IT investments. Further, as of June 2017, the department stated that their plan to implement a process for tracking the reinvestment of IT cost savings has been deferred pending the identification of an improved IT governance structure within the department. According to the Labor officials, changes in both administration and departmental leadership have led to the inception of new governance mechanisms which are expected to be validated and implemented by the end of December 2017. Subsequently, in May 2018, we found that the department's quarterly integrated data collection submission to the Office of Management and Budget included reinvestment information for all 18 cost savings initiatives, totaling $102 million. By including reinvestment information for all reported initiatives, the department is better positioned to ensure that savings are being used in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's tracking of reinvestments, the Secretary of Labor should direct the CIO to use existing governance mechanisms and any improvements resulting from the implementation of FITARA to improve tracking of how savings have been reinvested.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  15. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of State has taken steps to implement our recommendation. Specifically, as of June 2019, the department updated its quarterly integrated data collection submission to the Office of Management and Budget to include information regarding the approach to reinvesting savings from the consolidation of commodity IT resources. Specifically, State noted that any achieved savings would be reinvested in support of IT modernization under goal 3 of the department's fiscal year 2019-2022 IT Strategic Plan. In addition, the department provided a copy of the plan, which includes a section discussing IT modernization. As a result of strengthening its strategic plan, the department is better positioned to ensure that savings are being used in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's IT savings reinvestment plans, the Secretary of State should direct the CIO, as part of any future update to the department's IRM strategic plan or equivalent document, to include information regarding the approach to reinvesting savings from the consolidation of commodity IT resources (including data centers) in accordance with OMB's guidance.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  16. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of the Treasury has not yet taken steps to implement our recommendation. Specifically, as of May 2019, the agency had not yet updated its Information Resources Management Strategic Plan to include information regarding the approach to reinvesting savings from the consolidation of commodity IT resources. The department expects to provide an update in June 2019. We will continue to evaluate the department's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's IT savings reinvestment plans, the Secretary of the Treasury should direct the CIO, as part of any future update to the department's IRM strategic plan or equivalent document, to include information regarding the approach to reinvesting savings from the consolidation of commodity IT resources (including data centers) in accordance with OMB's guidance.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury

  17. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of the Treasury has not yet taken steps to implement our recommendation. Specifically, as of May 2019, the department's quarterly integrated data collection submission to the Office of Management and Budget did not include reinvestment plans for 16 of the 24 reported cost savings and avoidance initiatives. For example, the department reported about $82.54 million in cost avoidances from its data center consolidation and optimization initiatives, but did not provide information regarding how it plans to reinvest these avoidances. The department expects to provide an update in June 2019. We will continue to evaluate the department's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's IT savings reinvestment plans, the Secretary of the Treasury should direct the CIO to ensure that the department's integrated data collection submission to OMB includes, for all reported initiatives, complete plans to use any resulting cost savings and avoidances from OMB-directed IT reform-related efforts.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury

  18. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Veterans Affairs agreed with, and has taken initial steps to implement, our recommendation. Specifically, in November 2015, the department's Chief of Staff stated that the Office of Information and Technology was working to establish an office to close monitor program performance, deliver, cost, schedule, return on investment, and total cost of ownership, which will enable reinvestment opportunities. However, as of May 2019, the department's quarterly integrated data collection submission to the Office of Management and Budget did not include reinvestment plans for 5 of the 7 reported cost savings and avoidance initiatives. For example, the department reported about $229 million in cost avoidances associated with renegotiating an enterprise license agreement with Microsoft, but did not provide information regarding how it plans to reinvest these avoidances. The department expects to provide an update in June 2019. We will continue to evaluate the department's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's IT savings reinvestment plans, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs should direct the CIO to ensure that the department's integrated data collection submission to OMB includes, for all reported initiatives, complete plans to reinvest any resulting cost savings and avoidances from OMB-directed IT reform-related efforts.

    Agency Affected: Department of Veterans Affairs

  19. Status: Open

    Comments: The Environmental Protection Agency agreed with our recommendation, but has not yet taken steps to implement it. Specifically, as of May 2019, the agency's quarterly integrated data collection submission to the Office of Management and Budget did not include reinvestment plans for 2 of the 3 reported cost savings and avoidance initiatives. For example, the agency reported about $3.0 million in cost savings and avoidances related to two shared services initiatives, but did not provide information regarding how it plans to reinvest these savings and avoidances. The agency expects to provide an update in June 2019. We will continue to evaluate the agency's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's IT savings reinvestment plans, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency should direct the CIO to ensure that the agency's integrated data collection submission to OMB includes, for all reported initiatives, complete plans to reinvest any resulting cost savings and avoidances from OMB-directed IT reform-related efforts.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency

  20. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) agreed with, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. Specifically, in October 2015, the agency updated its Information Technology and Information Management Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2016 through 2020 to include the agency's approach to reinvesting savings. For example, the strategic plan notes that NRC regularly evaluates the effectiveness of the agency's technology resources through its portfolio management and investment review processes and any resulting cost savings will be considered for reinvestment into innovative ways to make better use of existing information technology or information management capabilities or to adopt new ones. Further, the plan notes that, in cases where opportunities for improvement are discovered, agency stakeholders within areas such as information technology policy and governance and enterprise architecture are to collaborate to develop and implement action plans to address them. As a result of strengthening its strategic plan, NRC is better positioned to ensure that savings are being used in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's IT savings reinvestment plans, the Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission should direct the CIO, as part of any future update to the agency's IRM strategic plan or equivalent document, to include information regarding the approach to reinvesting savings from the consolidation of commodity IT resources (including data centers) in accordance with OMB's guidance.

    Agency Affected: Nuclear Regulatory Commission

  21. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) agreed with, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. Specifically, as of June 2016, NRC's integrated data collection submission to the Office of Management and Budget included reinvestment information for all reported cost savings and avoidance initiatives. For example, the agency reported that $0.9 million in cost savings and avoidances related to data center consolidation in fiscal year 2012 was used to cover budget reductions for the following year. By including reinvestment information for all reported initiatives, NRC is better positioned to ensure that savings are being used in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's IT savings reinvestment plans, the Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission should direct the CIO to ensure that the agency's integrated data collection submission to OMB includes, for all reported initiatives, complete plans to reinvest any resulting cost savings and avoidances from OMB-directed IT reform-related efforts.

    Agency Affected: Nuclear Regulatory Commission

  22. Status: Open

    Comments: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) agreed with our recommendation, but has not yet taken action to implement it. Specifically, in November 2015, OPM's Acting Director stated that information regarding the approach to reinvesting savings from the consolidation of commodity IT resources (including data centers) would be included in future updates to OPM's Strategic IT Plan. However, as of May 2019, the agency had not yet updated its strategic plan to include this information. The agency expects to provide an update in June 2019. We will continue to evaluate the OPM's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's IT savings reinvestment plans, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management should direct the CIO, as part of any future update to the agency's IRM strategic plan or equivalent document, to include information regarding the approach to reinvesting savings from the consolidation of commodity IT resources (including data centers) in accordance with OMB's guidance.

    Agency Affected: Office of Personnel Management

  23. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) agreed with, and has taken action to implement, our recommendation. Specifically, in May 2016, USAID issued an Information Systems Decommissioning Plan intended to provide the policies, processes, and governance needed to downsize and eliminate the agency's redundant or suboptimal IT investments. The plan also included information regarding the approach to reinvesting cost savings from the elimination of legacy systems, such as reallocating the savings to support investments in modernized, integrated, enterprise-level solutions. As a result, the agency is better positioned to ensure that savings are being used in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's IT savings reinvestment plans, the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct the CIO, as part of any future update to the agency's IRM strategic plan or equivalent document, to include information regarding the approach to reinvesting savings from the consolidation of commodity IT resources (including data centers) in accordance with OMB's guidance.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

  24. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) agreed with, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. Specifically, as of June 2016, USAID's integrated data collection submission to the Office of Management and Budget included reinvestment information for all reported cost savings and avoidance initiatives. For example, the agency reported that approximately $4 million in savings and avoidances related to data center consolidation had been reinvested in IT infrastructure to support the growing consumption of IT resources, including an approximately 28 percent increase in USAID's user base as well as 22 additional business systems supported by the agency. By including reinvestment information for all reported initiatives, the agency is better positioned to ensure that savings are being used in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's IT savings reinvestment plans, the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct the CIO ensure that the agency's integrated data collection submission to OMB includes, for all reported initiatives, complete plans to reinvest any resulting cost savings and avoidances from OMB-directed IT reform-related efforts.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

 

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