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As of December 31, 1969, there are open recommendations, of which are priority recommendations. Recommendations remain open until they are designated as Closed-implemented or Closed-not implemented.
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Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, the Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Attorney General of the United States; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and U.S. Agency for International Development; the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should take action to improve progress in the data center optimization areas that we reported as not meeting OMB's established targets, including addressing any identified challenges.
Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs Status: Open Priority recommendation
Comments: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) agreed with our recommendation, and has taken initial steps to implement it. In May 2016, the department stated in correspondence to GAO that it had not yet taken action to improve optimization progress in the areas that we reported as having weaknesses. Specifically, the department stated that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) was in the process of changing the fiscal year 2016 through 2018 closure targets and data center optimization metrics under the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act, which it planned to complete by the end of July 2016. Upon receipt of the targets, VA stated that it needed to assess the impact on strategies already under way, which it planned to complete by mid-fiscal year 2017. However, in August 2016, OMB announced changes to the optimization metrics that we analyzed in our report. Specifically, OMB dropped seven of the metrics we originally reviewed, added three new metrics, and retained two (facility utilization and power usage effectiveness). OMB further clarified that the two retained metrics applied only to agency-owned tiered data centers. We are no longer tracking agency progress against the seven metrics that were dropped, and only monitoring progress against the two metrics that were retained. OMB changed the data center optimization metric reporting requirements for agencies in Fall 2018, but has yet to publicly release the accompanying updated guidance. Once OMB issues the final guidance, GAO will be able to evaluate agency progress in addressing the metrics required by OMB. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the department's progress in implementing this recommendation.