GAO Report Reveals Federal CIOs Still Don’t Have Full Visibility into IT Investment Decisions

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GAO_Report_Reveals_Federal_CIOs_Still_Don’t_Have_Full_Visibility_into_IT_Investment_Decisions GAO Report Reveals Federal CIOs Still Don’t Have Full Visibility into IT Investment Decisions

The GAO (Government Accountability Office) new report found that many of the largest U.S. federal departments still don’t have policies on their own agency’s IT acquisitions. The GAO report that released Tuesday examined policy efforts at the departments of Energy, Justice, Health and Human Services, and Treasury to include their CIOs in the planning and budgetary stage of IT projects and found a staggering rate of progress.

However, the report also noted that many of the departments still lack on full implementation of policies to notify CIOs of IT procurement issues, such as details on planned expenditures, budget and technology portfolio planning, and more. None of the agencies looked at included appraisals of all IT resources in their budget requests. In 2014, FITARA became law with the aim to streamline how federal agencies purchase IT and granting the senior executive most responsible for technical issues with the ability to shape its technology portfolio. But after the four years, agencies have lingered on fully implementing the law.

In the report, GAO officials stated that while most of the departments reviewed and had taken steps for establishing 8 common baselines for the CIO budgetary review, which required by OMB (Office of Management and Budget), they did not make policies that comprehensively addressed those baselines. In addition, while the examined departments and their component agencies had all at least implemented one fully CIO budgetary baseline, progress on the remaining seven has been mixed.

The GAO report noted that the Trump administration’s efforts to boost IT spending transparency in their President’s Management Agenda, such as the adoption of the Technology Business Management framework, could help agencies address the current process gaps. But GAO also warned that CIOs will still not have full visibility into their IT budgets until they document all relevant costs.