Government Reform:

Legislation Would Strengthen Federal Management of Information and Technology

T-AIMD-95-205: Published: Jul 25, 1995. Publicly Released: Jul 25, 1995.

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GAO discussed the Information Technology Management Reform Act, focusing on: (1) the government's information management problems; (2) how leading organizations manage information technology compared with federal agencies; and (3) how the proposed legislation would address accountability and implementation problems. GAO noted that: (1) most federal agencies have not kept pace with evolving management practices and do not have the skills necessary to precisely define critical information needs and select, apply, and control changing information technologies; (2) leading organizations utilize an integrated set of best practices and rely on the leadership and personal commitment of top executives to improve strategic information management; (3) leading organizations contrast sharply with federal agencies in their best practices by quantitatively assessing performance against top companies and holding managers and stakeholders accountable for using information technology, directing scarce resources toward high-value uses, and supporting major cost reduction and service improvement efforts; and (4) the proposed legislation establishes a solid foundation for instituting modern management practices throughout the federal government by changing the government's focus of information technology from a technical issue to a management issue and building upon recent changes to other statutes and executive policy guidance.

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