The federal government invests heavily in information technology (IT). In recent years, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has made efforts to improve the transparency, oversight, and management of the federal government's IT investments. More recently, in June 2009, OMB deployed the IT Dashboard, a Web-based system that provides detailed performance information on federal IT investments. GAO was asked to (1) describe the current number and types of IT investments reported by federal agencies on the IT Dashboard, (2) evaluate the adequacy of OMB's guidance to federal agencies in reporting on IT investments, and (3) evaluate efforts to identify and address potentially duplicative investments. To address these objectives, GAO analyzed data from the IT Dashboard, analyzed 10 federal agencies' investment guidance and reports, and interviewed agency officials.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Office of Management and Budget||1. To ensure that IT investments are adequately identified and categorized, the Director of OMB should specify which executive branch agencies are included when discussing the annual federal IT investment portfolio.|
|Office of Management and Budget||2. To ensure that IT investments are adequately identified and categorized, the Director of OMB should clarify guidance to federal agencies in reporting on their IT investments by specifying whether certain types of systems, such as those in research and development and space systems, should be included.|
|Office of Management and Budget||3. To ensure that IT investments are adequately identified and categorized, the Director of OMB should revise guidance to federal agencies on categorizing IT investments to ensure that the categorizations are clear and allow agencies to choose secondary categories, where applicable, which will aid in identifying potentially duplicative investments.|
|Office of Management and Budget||4. To ensure that IT investments are adequately identified and categorized, the Director of OMB should require federal agencies to report the steps they take to ensure that their IT investments are not duplicative as part of their annual budget and IT investment submissions.|