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    Subject Term: "IT projects"

    2 publications with a total of 7 open recommendations including 1 priority recommendation
    Director: Valerie C. Melvin
    Phone: (202) 512-6304

    2 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To improve the oversight of states' marketplace IT projects, the Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to ensure that all CMS senior executives from IT and business units who are involved in the establishment of state marketplace IT projects review and approve funding decisions for these projects.

    Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
    Status: Open

    Comments: In 2015, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) concurred with the recommendation. The department, in its agency comments, stated that it already included senior executives in its funding decisions for these projects. However, as noted in our report, CMS did not provide evidence that key senior executives from CCIIO, CMCS, and OTS were involved in various funding decisions associated with the states' IT projects. For example, CMS did not demonstrate that senior-level executives from all relevant business and IT units were involved in the initial approval of grant awards or the release of restricted IT funds from marketplace grants as states progressed with their projects. In addition, CMS did not provide evidence of senior executive involvement in the approval of Medicaid funds for marketplace IT projects. Furthermore, as of March 10, 2017, CMS still had not provided evidence that it had taken such actions to support the implementation of this recommendation. By ensuring such executive involvement, CMS would increase accountability for decisions to fund states' IT projects and ensure that these decisions are well informed in order to make efficient use of federal funds.
    Recommendation: To improve the oversight of states' marketplace IT projects, the Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to ensure that states have completed all testing of marketplace system functions prior to releasing them into operation.

    Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
    Status: Open

    Comments: In 2015, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) concurred with the recommendation. The department noted that it would continue to follow its guidelines to determine if state marketplace system functions are ready for release. The department added that it would work closely with state-based marketplaces to improve their systems and verify that system requirements are met and fully tested before approving them for release into production. While CMS drafted guidance to update its process in June 2016, which required states to submit certain testing reports and supporting documentation, as of March 10, 2017, the agency had not provided evidence that it had determined that state systems had been sufficiently tested for release into operations.
    Director: Valerie C. Melvin
    Phone: (202) 512-6304

    5 open recommendations
    including 1 priority recommendation
    Recommendation: To ensure that HUD fully implements and sustains effective IT governance practices, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development should direct the Deputy Secretary and the department's Chief Information Officer to place a high priority and ensure that the executive-level investment review board meets as outlined in its charter, documents criteria for use by the other boards, and distributes its decisions to appropriate stakeholders.

    Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of April 2017, HUD had not provided information demonstrating that the department has addressed this recommendation. HUD reported that it established a new executive-level investment review board (i.e. the Executive Operations Committee) that replaced the board discussed in our report. However, as of April 2017, the department had not yet documented criteria the Committee had established for use by other boards or provided evidence of how this new committee would distribute decisions made to appropriate stakeholders.
    Recommendation: To ensure that HUD fully implements and sustains effective IT governance practices, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development should direct the Deputy Secretary and the department's Chief Information Officer to place a high priority and fully establish and maintain a complete set of governance policies, establish time frames for establishing policies planned but not yet developed, and update key governance documents to reflect changes made to established practices.

    Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of April 2017, the department had taken steps to address this recommendation. In 2015, HUD updated its Project Planning and Management policy and confirmed that the remaining policies to be developed were the IT Risk Policy and the IT Performance Management Policy. HUD also reported that the department planned to revise additional existing policies, including the IT Management Framework Policy, IT Capital Management Policy, IT Project Planning & Management Policy, IT Governance Policy, and IT Strategic Planning Policy. As of April 2017, the department had finalized a Risk Policy but reported it was still working on additional policy updates anticipated to be finalized during 2017.
    Recommendation: To ensure that HUD fully implements and sustains effective IT governance practices, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development should direct the Deputy Secretary and the department's Chief Information Officer to place a high priority and fully establish an IT investment selection process that includes (1) articulating how reviews of project proposals are to be conducted; (2) planning how data (including cost estimates) are to be developed and verified and validated; (3) establishing criteria for how cost, schedule, and project risk are to be analyzed; (4) developing procedures for how proposed projects are to be compared to one another in terms of investment size (cost), project longevity (schedule), technical difficulty, project risk, and cost-benefit analysis; and (5) ensuring that final selection decisions made by senior decision makers and governance boards are supported by analysis, consider predefined quantitative measures, and are consistently documented.

    Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of April 2017, HUD had not provided information demonstrating that the department has addressed this recommendation. In 2015, HUD reported that it had begun using a new tool to support its IT selection process. As of April 2017, the department had reported on improvements to its investment process but had not yet provided evidence of specific actions or plans aimed at ensuring the five IT selection processes highlighted in this recommendation would be addressed.
    Recommendation: To ensure that HUD fully implements and sustains effective IT governance practices, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development should direct the Deputy Secretary and the department's Chief Information Officer to place a high priority and fully establish a well-defined process that incorporates key practices for overseeing investments, including (1) monitoring actual project performance against expected outcomes for project cost, schedule, benefit, and risk; (2) establishing and documenting cost-, schedule-, and performance-based thresholds for triggering remedial actions or elevating project review to higher-level investment boards; and (3) conducting post-implementation reviews to evaluate results of projects after they are completed.

    Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of April 2017, the department had taken steps to address this recommendation. Specifically, in April 2016, HUD provided evidence of actions taken toward developing new processes for investment oversight practices. Specifically, the department created processes for conducting project health assessments and weekly project management meetings intended to monitor, among other things, actual performance against expected outcomes, and to establish thresholds for triggering remedial actions or elevating projects for additional review. As of April 2017, the department had not provided evidence that these new processes were fully established and institutionalized.
    Recommendation: To establish an enterprise-wide view of cost savings and operational efficiencies generated by investments and governance processes, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development should direct the Deputy Secretary and Chief Information Officer to place a higher priority on identifying governance-related cost savings and efficiencies and establish and institutionalize a process for identifying and tracking comprehensive, high-quality data on savings and efficiencies resulting from IT investments and the IT governance process.

    Agency: Department of Housing and Urban Development
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: As of April 2017, the department had taken steps to address this recommendation. Specifically, in April 2016, HUD provided examples of cost savings that the department had identified by "scrubbing" existing contracts during the fiscal year 2015 budget formulation process, along with copies of a template that it designed and used to help identify such savings. As of April 2017, the department had not yet provided evidence that it had formally established policies and procedures or taken other actions to institutionalize a process for identifying and providing an enterprise-wide view of IT-related cost savings and operational efficiencies.