Information Technology: Further Improvements Needed to identify and Oversee Poorly Planned and Performing Projects

GAO-07-1211T Published: Sep 20, 2007. Publicly Released: Sep 20, 2007.
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The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) plays a key role in overseeing federal information technology (IT) investments. The Clinger-Cohen Act, among other things, requires OMB to establish processes to analyze, track, and evaluate the risks and results of major capital investments in information systems made by agencies and to report to Congress on the net program performance benefits achieved as a result of these investments. OMB has developed several processes to help carry out its role. For example, OMB began using a Management Watch List several years ago as a means of identifying poorly planned projects based on its evaluation of agencies' funding justifications for major projects, known as exhibit 300s. In addition, in August 2005, OMB established a process for agencies to identify high risk projects and to report on those that are performing poorly. GAO testified last year on the Management Watch List and high risk projects, and on GAO's recommendations to improve these processes. GAO was asked to (1) provide an update on the Management Watch List and high risk projects and (2) identify OMB's efforts to improve the identification and oversight of these projects. In preparing this testimony, GAO summarized its previous reports on initiatives for improving the management of federal IT investments. GAO also analyzed current Management Watch List and high risk project information.

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