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Agencies Need to Involve Chief Information Officers in Reviewing Billions of Dollars in Acquisitions

 

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Abstract

Why GAO Did This Study

The federal government invested more than $90 billion on IT in fiscal year 2016. However, prior IT expenditures have produced failed projects. Recognizing the severity of issues, in December 2014 Congress enacted IT acquisition reform legislation (referred to as the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act, or FITARA). Among other things, OMB’s FITARA implementation guidance requires covered agencies’ chief acquisition officers to identify IT contracts for the CIOs to review and approve. GAO’s objectives were to determine the extent to which (1) federal agencies identify IT contracts and how much is invested in them, and (2) federal agency CIOs are reviewing and approving IT acquisitions. To do so, GAO reviewed data on IT contracts from fiscal year 2016 at 22 agencies and compared agency actions to law and OMB guidance.

What GAO Recommends

GAO is making 39 recommendations, including that agencies ensure that acquisition offices are involved in identifying IT and issue related guidance; and to ensure IT acquisitions are reviewed according to OMB guidance. OMB and 20 agencies generally agreed with or did not comment on the recommendations. One agency agreed with one recommendation, but disagreed with another. GAO believes this recommendation is warranted. One agency disagreed with two recommendations. GAO subsequently removed one of these, but believes the other recommendation is warranted, as discussed in this report.

Document Date: 
Jan 25, 2018
 
Author (organization): 
General Accountability Office
 
Document type: 
Report
 
Interests: 
Acquisition
Technology Management