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Highlights

The federal government spends billons of dollars on information technology (IT) projects each year. Consequently, it is important that projects be managed effectively to ensure that public resources are wisely invested. To this end, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which plays a key role in overseeing the federal government's IT investments, identifies major projects that are poorly planned by placing them on a Management Watch List and requires agencies to identify high-risk projects that are performing poorly (i.e., have performance shortfalls). Having accurate and transparent project cost and schedule information is also essential to effective oversight. At times, changes to this information--called a rebaselining-- are made to reflect changed development circumstances. These changes can be done for valid reasons, but can also be used to mask cost overruns and schedule delays. GAO has previously testified on the Management Watch List and high risk projects. GAO was asked to (1) provide an update on these projects, (2) identify OMB's efforts to improve the identification and oversight of these projects, and (3) summarize the results of GAO's IT project rebaselining report being released today. In preparing this testimony, GAO analyzed current Management Watch List and high risk project information.

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