GAO reviewed steps taken by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to strengthen its information technology (IT) investment management and acquisition capabilities. The Bureau took these actions to address recommendations made in an earlier report on the failure of the Automated Land and Mineral Record System (ALMRS) to meet BLM's business needs. GAO found that since 1999, BLM has been working to implement GAO recommendations to determine the usefulness of ALMRS and to assess and strengthen its IT investment management and acquisition capabilities. Although the bureau has not yet finished these efforts, it has begun to apply improved management strategies for selecting IT investments, develop processes and practices for controlling and evaluating investments, and build a more mature systems acquisition capability. However, before completing and institutionalizing new investment control processes, the Bureau has begun moving forward with an IT acquisition. As a result, BLM's efforts may be subject to the same project management and management oversight risks that adversely affected the ALMRS/Modernization.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of the Interior||In order to help mitigate risks associated with moving forward with the GeoCommunicator acquisition, the Secretary of the Interior should direct BLM to adopt procedures to ensure proper management and control over the GeoCommunicator project. The procedures should include (1) consistent project monitoring by senior managers to ensure that cost and schedule are being controlled, benefits are being accomplished, risks are being managed, and strategic bureau needs are being met and (2) comparison of interim results against project estimates through each stage to ensure that the project is progressing as expected and to indicate when actions should be taken as problems arise, including modifying, canceling, continuing or accelerating the project.|
|Department of the Interior||In order to help mitigate risks associated with moving forward with the GeoCommunicator acquisition, the Secretary of the Interior should direct BLM to determine the additional workload and other impacts that implementing the GeoCommunicator module will have on BLM's current computing environment. This assessment should be completed as quickly as possible and evaluated by the Information Technology Investment Board immediately upon its completion.|