Federal IT spending has risen to an estimated $79 billion for fiscal year 2011. To improve transparency and oversight of this spending, in June 2009 the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) deployed a public website, known as the IT Dashboard, which provides information on federal agencies' major IT investments, including assessments of actual performance against cost and schedule targets (referred to as ratings). According to OMB, these data are intended to provide both a near real-time and historical perspective of the performance of these investments. GAO was asked to (1) examine the accuracy of the cost and schedule performance ratings on the Dashboard for selected investments and (2) determine whether the data on the Dashboard are used as a management tool to make improvements to IT investments. To do so, GAO selected 8 major investments from 5 agencies with large IT budgets, compared its analyses of the selected investments' performance to the ratings on the Dashboard, and interviewed agency officials about their use of the Dashboard to manage investments.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Office of Management and Budget||1. To better ensure that the IT Dashboard provides meaningful ratings and accurate investment data, the Director of OMB should include in its next annual Implementation of the E-Government Act report the effect of planned formula changes on the accuracy of data.|
|Office of Management and Budget||2. To better ensure that the IT Dashboard provides meaningful ratings and accurate investment data, the Director of OMB should develop and issue clear guidance that standardizes milestone reporting on the Dashboard.|