Information Management Reform:

Effective Implementation Is Essential for Improving Federal Performance

T-AIMD-96-132: Published: Jul 17, 1996. Publicly Released: Jul 17, 1996.

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GAO discussed the implementation of the Information Technology (IT) Management Reform Act (ITMRA). GAO noted that: (1) federal agencies have failed to reengineer their business and program delivery processes before acquiring new information systems, which results in costly IT resources; (2) ITMRA should empower federal agencies to make wise acquisitions of IT products and services; (3) lessons learned from other governmentwide management reforms indicate the need for senior management involvement, consistent oversight and leadership from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and a focus on capital investment and planning, reengineering, and performance measurement; (4) OMB has organized interagency discussions on needed policy and guidance changes and issued guidance on selecting, controlling, and evaluating agencies' IT investments; (5) OMB has established an interagency Chief Information Officers (CIO) working group to assist in developing policies, guidance, and information needed for effective ITMRA implementation; (6) the Administration is ensuring that CIO candidates are qualified and given sufficient authority and responsibility and that core legislative requirements are met; (7) challenges to ITMRA implementation include involving top agency management, consistently directing CIO appointments and organizational placement, building new IT skills, focusing on internal implementation at the department-level, and continually emphasizing an integrated management approach; and (8) congressional support and oversight is essential to ensuring successful implementation of ITMRA.

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