Information Technology:

Additional OMB and Agency Actions Are Needed to Achieve Portfolio Savings

GAO-14-65: Published: Nov 6, 2013. Publicly Released: Nov 6, 2013.

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What GAO Found

The 26 major federal agencies that were required to participate in the PortfolioStat initiative fully addressed four of seven key requirements established by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). However, only 1 of the 26 agencies addressed all the requirements. For example, agencies did not develop action plans that addressed all elements, such as criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value or duplicative information technology (IT) investments, or migrate two commodity IT areas—such as enterprise IT systems and IT infrastructure—to a shared service by the end of 2012.

Further, OMB’s estimate of about 100 consolidation opportunities and a potential $2.5 billion in savings from the PortfolioStat initiative is understated because, among other things, it did not include estimates from the Departments of Defense and Justice. GAO’s analysis, which includes these estimates, shows that, collectively, the 26 agencies are reporting about 200 opportunities and at least $5.8 billion in potential savings through fiscal year 2015.

Five selected agencies—the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, the Interior, the Treasury, and Veterans Affairs—identified 52 consolidation initiatives, along with other IT management improvements, and estimated at least $3.7 billion in potential cost savings through fiscal year 2015. However, four agencies did not always provide sufficient support for all of their estimates, and they varied in their use of processes—such as an enterprise architecture and a method for assessing the value of investments—recommended by OMB to identify consolidation opportunities. More consistently using these tools may reveal further opportunities for consolidation, and better support for estimated savings may increase the chances that they will be achieved.

OMB‘s fiscal year 2013 PortfolioStat guidance identifies a number of planned improvements but does not fully address certain weaknesses in the implementation of the initiative, such as limitations in CIOs’ authority, weaknesses in agencies’ commodity IT baselines, accountability for migrating selected commodity IT areas, or the information on agencies’ progress that OMB intends to make public.

Why GAO Did This Study

Federal agencies plan to spend at least $82 billion on IT in fiscal year 2014, and GAO has previously reported on challenges in identifying and reducing duplicative IT investments. In 2012, OMB launched its PortfolioStat initiative—a process where agencies gather information on their IT investments and develop plans for consolidation and increased use of shared-service delivery models.GAO was asked to review the implementation of PortfolioStat. GAO’s objectives were to (1) determine whether agencies completed key required PortfolioStat actions, (2) evaluate selected agencies’ plans for making portfolio improvements and achieving associated cost savings, and (3) evaluate OMB’s plans to improve the PortfolioStat process. To do this, GAO analyzed plans, status reports, and other documentation from agencies and interviewed agency and OMB officials. GAO also interviewed officials and reviewed documentation from five agencies selected based on their IT expenditures and management structures.

What GAO Recommends

GAO is recommending, among other things, that OMB require agencies to fully disclose limitations in CIOs’ ability to exercise their authority and that 24 agencies take steps to improve their PortfolioStat implementation. OMB agreed with some of the recommendations and disagreed with others; and responses from the 21 agencies commenting on the report varied. GAO continues to believe that the majority of the recommendations are valid, but has removed two, and modified one, as discussed in the report.

For more information, contact David A.Powner at (202) 512-9286 or pownerd@gao.gov.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Open

    Comments: In its comments on GAO's report, OMB agreed with this recommendation but stated that it had already addressed this issue as part of its fiscal year 2013 PortfolioStat process. Specifically, according to OMB, its fiscal year 2013 PortfolioStat guidance required agencies to describe how their policies, procedures, and authorities implement CIO authorities, consistent with OMB Memorandum 11-29, as part of either the information resources management plan or enterprise roadmap they were instructed to submit. In its comments, OMB also stated that it reviewed and analyzed agencies' responses and discussed limitations to CIOs' authorities directly with agencies during the PortfolioStat sessions in cases where it determined that such limitations existed. However, OMB did not provide documentation supporting its reviews or discussions with agencies. In addition, as we noted in our report, requiring agencies to fully disclose limitations their CIOs may have in exercising the authorities and responsibilities provided by law and OMB guidance should provide OMB information crucial to understanding and addressing the factors that could prevent agencies from successfully implementing the PortfolioStat initiative. For these reasons, we maintained our recommendation. In September 2014, OMB stated that it maintained its position yet still did not provide any supporting documentation. We will continue to work with OMB to address this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To help ensure the success of PortfolioStat, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Federal Chief Information Officer should require agencies to fully disclose limitations their Chief Information Officer's (CIOs) might have in exercising the authorities and responsibilities provided by law and OMB's guidance. Particular attention should be paid to the Departments of Health and Human Services, and State; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; the Office of Personnel Management; and the U.S. Agency for International Development, which reported specific limitations with the CIO's authority.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget

  2. Status: Open

    Comments: In September 2014, OMB reported that it still agreed with this recommendation but had not taken any action to address it. We will continue to work with OMB to address the recommendation.

    Recommendation: To help ensure the success of PortfolioStat, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget should direct the Federal Chief Information Officer to require that agencies (1) state what actions have been taken to ensure the completeness of their commodity IT baseline information and (2) identify any limitation with this information as part of integrated data collection quarterly reporting.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget

  3. Status: Open

    Comments: In September 2014, OMB told us that it still agreed with the recommendation but had not taken any action to address it. We will continue to work with OMB to address the recommendation.

    Recommendation: To help ensure the success of PortfolioStat, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget should direct the Federal Chief Information Officer to require agencies to report on the progress of their two consolidation efforts that were to be completed by December 2012 as part of the integrated data collection quarterly reporting.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget

  4. Status: Open

    Comments: In its comments on our report, OMB disgreed with this recommendation stating that it had disclosed limitations on data reported and citing three instances of these efforts. While we acknowledge that OMB reported limitations of data regarding consolidation efforts in these cases, the information reported did not provide stakeholders and the public with a complete understanding of the information presented. For example, OMB did not disclose that information from the departments of Defense and Justice was not included in the consolidation estimates reported, which, considering the scope of Defense's efforts in this area (at least $3.2 billion), is a major gap. Therefore, we maintained our recommendation. In September 2014, OMB stated it still maintained its position and had therefore not taken any action. We will continue to work with OMB to address the recommendation.

    Recommendation: To help ensure the success of PortfolioStat, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget should direct the Federal Chief Information Officer to disclose the limitations of any data reported (or disclose the parameters and assumptions of these data) on the agencies' consolidation efforts and associated savings and cost avoidance.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget

  5. Status: Open

    Comments: In its comments on our report, OMB disagreed with this recommendation, stating that it had found that 24 of 26 agencies had completed their plans. OMB further stated that it continuously follows up on the consolidation efforts identified in the plans and, where savings have been identified, reports this progress to Congress on a quarterly basis. However, our review of the 26 agency action plans found 26 instances where a required element (e.g., consolidation of commodity IT spending under the CIO) was not addressed and 26 instances where a required element was only partially addressed--an assessment with which agencies agreed. As noted in our report, addressing all the required elements would better position agencies to fully realize the intended benefits of the PortfolioStat initiative, and they should therefore be held accountable for reporting on them as required in OMB memo M-12-10. Accordingly, we maintained our recommendation. In September 2014, OMB told us it had not changed its position and therefore had not taken any action. We will continue to work with OMB to address this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To help ensure the success of PortfolioStat, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget should direct the Federal Chief Information Officer to require that agencies report on efforts to address action plan items as part of future PortfolioStat reporting.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget

  6. Status: Open

    Comments: In its comments on our report, OMB disagreed with our recommendation stating that it does not adequately account for the work it currently performs to ensure accountability for and transparency of the process through its quarterly reporting of identified savings to Congress. It further stated that some details are deliberative or procurement sensitive and it would therefore not be appropriate to disclose them. However, we noted that while OMB currently reports realized savings by agency on a quarterly basis, these savings are not measured against planned savings. Doing this would greatly enhance Congress's insight into agencies' progress and hold them accountable for reducing duplication and achieving planned cost savings and would not require reporting deliberative or procurement-sensitive information. Therefore, we maintained our recommendation. In September 2014, OMB stated that it maintained its position and had therefore not taken any action. We will continue to work with OMB to address this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To help ensure the success of PortfolioStat, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget should direct the Federal Chief Information Officer to improve transparency of and accountability for PortfolioStat by publicly disclosing planned and actual data consolidation efforts and related cost savings by agency.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget

  7. Status: Open

    Comments: In its March 2014 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided information on its efforts to ensure the quality of its commodity IT baseline data. Specifically, USDA reported having (1) developed a central repository for agencies and staff offices to populate commodity IT data and (2) provided training on the use of the repository, and (3)established an addtional level of oversight to monitor data quality. We will follow up with USDA to obtain supporting documentation for its actions.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency Affected: Department of Agriculture

  8. Status: Open

    Comments: In its March 2014 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided information on the elements identified in the recommendation. We are following up with the department to obtain supporting documentation as well as a status of the related reporting to the Office of Management and Budget.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat Action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO and (2) establish criteria for wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments.

    Agency Affected: Department of Agriculture

  9. Status: Open

    Comments: In its March 2014 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) stated that its Chief Information Officer will formalize and implement a value-based measurement model to help determine which IT investments should be included in the USDA IT portfolio. We are following up with the department to obtain supporting documentation.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, as the department finalizes and matures its valuation methodology, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the CIO to utilize this process to identify whether there are additional opportunities to reduce duplicative, low-value, or wasteful investments.

    Agency Affected: Department of Agriculture

  10. Status: Open

    Comments: In its March 2014 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) stated that its CIO has developed supporting documentation for the cost savings/avoidance associated with the efforts identified in the recommendation. We will follow up with USDA to obtain this supporting documentation.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the CIO to develop support for the estimated savings for fiscal years 2013 through 2015 for the Cellular Phone Contract Consolidation, IT Infrastructure Consolidation/Enterprise Data Center Consolidation, and Geospatial Consolidation initiatives.

    Agency Affected: Department of Agriculture

  11. Status: Open

    Comments: In its January 2014 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Commerce provided information on its efforts to reflect 100 percent of IT investments in the department's enterprise architecture. We will follow up with the department to obtain supporting documentation.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Commerce should direct the CIO to reflect 100 percent of information technology investments in the department's enterprise architecture.

    Agency Affected: Department of Commerce

  12. Status: Open

    Comments: In its January 2014 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Commerce stated it had submitted two iterations of its commodity IT baseline to OMB since we made our recommendation and believed it had complete data. We will follow up with the department to find out about the process used to ensure completeness and obtain supporting documentation.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Commerce should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency Affected: Department of Commerce

  13. Status: Open

    Comments: In its December 2013 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Defense stated that it has efforts underway, including an initiative known as the Joint Information Environment, to further refine the Department's commodity IT baseline. We will follow up with the department to obtain additional information on its efforts and supporting documentation.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Defense should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  14. Status: Open

    Comments: In its December 2013 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Defense (DOD) stated, among other things, that its Chief Information Officer has integrated and balanced the authorities outlined in Office of Management and Budget memorandum M-11-29 and legislative requirements (contained in Title 10, Title 40 and Title 44) to achieve improved IT operating efficiencies and organizational decision-making agility. However, the department did not state whether or how it plans to address the issue of consolidating commodity IT spending under the CIO in its reporting to OMB, which was the focus of the recommendation. We will follow up with the department on this.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in the future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of Defense should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan element: consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  15. Status: Open

    Comments: In its December 2013 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Defense stated that it already reports data center consolidation savings to both OMB and Congress and will continue to realize savings from the Enterprise Software Initiative, other strategic sourcing efforts, and the continuing implementation of General Fund Enterprise Business System initiatives. We will follow up with the Department to obtain support for savings associated with these efforts.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Defense should direct the CIO to obtain support from the relevant component agencies for the estimated savings for fiscal years 2013 to 2015 for the data center consolidation, enterprise software purchasing, and General Fund Enterprise Business System initiatives.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  16. Status: Open

    Comments: In its December 2013 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Defense stated that in future OMB reporting, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will fully describe the four action plan elements identified in this recommendation. We will follow up with the department to determine the status of these efforts and associated supporting documentation.

    Recommendation: To improve the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO; (2) target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation; (3) establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments; and (4) establish a process to identify these potential investments and a schedule for eliminating them from the portfolio.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  17. Status: Open

    Comments: In its December 2013 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Defense provided an update on the status of its efforts to consolidate eCPIC to a shared service. The Department stated that this effort will be completed by the end of fiscal year 2014, and status updates will be provided to OMB quarterly. We will review DOD's quarterly reporting through fiscal year 2014 to determine the extent to which the department's reporting addresses this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To improve the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to report on the agency's progress in consolidating eCPIC to a shared service as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  18. Status: Open

    Comments: In its March 2014 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Energy stated that it will update its policy orders as necessary to implement the OMB policy for consolidating commodity IT under the Chief Information Officer and include a description in future OMB reporting. The department also noted that it will work to establish additional value criteria to idenitfy low-value or duplicative federal commodity IT investments, and these criteria will be described in future OMB reporting. We will review the department's reporting to OMB to determine the extent to which this recommendation has been addressed.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of Energy should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO and (2) establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

  19. Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency reported that it uses OMB's quarterly integrated data collection submission process to continually update the information in its baseline. We will follow up with the agency to determine whether it has any process to ensure the completeness of the information submitted.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency

  20. Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency told us it had reported on the status of actions to consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO and establish targets for commodity IT spending reductions to OMB in its August 2014 PortfolioStat update. The agency stated it was working to develop criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, and duplicative investments. We will review the August 2014 PortfolioStat update to verify the agency's claims. We will also follow up on efforts to develop the aforementioned criteria and any associated reporting to OMB.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO; (2) establish targets for commodity IT spending reductions and deadlines for meeting those targets; and (3) establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency

  21. Status: Open

    Comments: In its March 2014 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Environmental Protection Agency stated that it expected its print services to take on additional devices and locations beginning in April 2014 and that a contract vehicle for the purchasing and leasing of end user computing equipment was expected to be awarded by March 2014. We will review the agency's quarterly reporting to OMB to determine whether progress on the two initiatives was provided to OMB as we recommended.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency should direct the CIO to report on the agency's progress in consolidating the managed print services and strategic sourcing of end user computing to shared services as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency

  22. Status: Open

    Comments: In response to this recommendation, the General Services Administration (GSA) stated that its Chief Information Officer will provide a quarterly narrative update on the Contract Writing System via the Office of Management and Budget's MAX Tool. We will review GSA's quarterly reporting through the completion of this effort to determine the extent to which this recommendation has been addressed.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Administrator of the General Services Administration should direct the CIO to report on the agency's progress in consolidating the contract writing module to a shared service as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  23. Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future OMB reporting, the Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan element: consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  24. Status: Open

    Comments: In its December 2013 response to this recommendation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development provided its commodity IT baseline. We will follow up with the agency to determine the extent to which the baseline is complete as we recommended.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency Affected: Department of Housing and Urban Development

  25. Status: Open

    Comments: In its December 2013 response to this recommendation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development provided information on processes which it believes are related to criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments. We will review the supporting documentation provided to determine the extent to which it addresses the recommendation.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan element: establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments.

    Agency Affected: Department of Housing and Urban Development

  26. Status: Open

    Comments: In its December 2013 response to this recommendation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development stated that its consolidation of the HR End-to-End Performance Management Module to a shared service was completed at the beginning of fiscal year 2014. We will review supporting documentation to verify the agency's actions.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development should direct the CIO to report on the department's progress in consolidating the HR End-to-End Performance Management Module to a shared service as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: Department of Housing and Urban Development

  27. Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2014, the Department reported that it was planning to undertake a series of activities spanning a 15 month timeframe to create a complete commodity IT baseline, including embarking upon a statistical analysis and cost projection initiative that is intended to identify the degree of confidence in the commodity IT baseline, and develop mechanisms that will enable validation and verification in the future. We will periodically follow-up with the department on the results of its activities.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of the Interior should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior

  28. Status: Open

    Comments: In its January 2014 comments on our report, the Department of the Interior stated that it was undertaking a business-driven approach that will involve working wtih its governance boards to establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low value, or duplicative investments. The department stated it would establish the criteria by December 2014. However, the department did not address whether it would be reporting its plans to OMB, which was the focus of our recomnendation. We will follow up with officials to address this.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of the Interior should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan element: establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior

  29. Status: Open

    Comments: In its January 2014 comments on our report, the Department of the Interior provided information on the status of its efforts to consolidate the Enterprise Forms System to a shared service and established a December 2014 target date for completion. In addition, the department said that it would report on the status of the initiative quarterly OMB until completion. We will follow up with the department periodically to monitor its progress in completing the initiative and reporting on it to OMB.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of the Interior should direct the CIO to report on the department's progress in consolidating the Electronic Forms System component of the eMail Enterprise Records & Document Management System deployment 8 to a shared service as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior

  30. Status: Open

    Comments: In its December 2013 response to this recommendation, the Department of Justice stated that it has updated its enterprise architecture to include 100 percent of the information technology investments. We will follow up with the department to obtain documentation supporting this action.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Attorney General should direct the CIO to reflect 100 percent of information technology investments in the department's enterprise architecture.

    Agency Affected: Department of Justice

  31. Status: Open

    Comments: In its December 2013 response to this recommendation, the Department of Justice (DOJ) stated that its Email and Collaboration Working Group established consolidation targets, and began Phase One of its email consolidation effort which it expects to complete in early 2014. In addition, DOJ provided information on the status of its efforts to establish additional targets. We will review the information provided, as well as DOJ's reporting to OMB, to determine the extent to which this recommendation has been addressed.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Attorney General should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan element: establish targets for commodity IT spending reductions and deadlines for meeting those targets.

    Agency Affected: Department of Justice

  32. Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2014, the Department of Labor stated that it had completed its commodity IT baseline and submitted it to OMB as part of the required quarterly reporting through the integration data collection tool. We will follow up with the department to determine its process for ensuring the completeness of the baseline.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Labor should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  33. Status: Open

    Comments: In its December 2013 response to this recommendation, the Department of Labor described steps taken to address both of the action items in the recommendation. We are reviewing supporting documentation provided as part of the PortfolioStat review we have underway to verify the department's actions and determine the extent to which the information has been reported to OMB.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of Labor should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO and (2) establish targets for commodity IT spending reductions and deadlines for meeting those targets.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  34. Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2014, the Department of Labor stated that it had completed the consolidation of DOL agency e-mail systems into a shared cloud-based e-mail service as planned. In addition, the department stated that while it could not report on the progress of the initiative through the integration data collection tool because the tool is not configured for this, it was reporting on the initiative on monthly basis through the federal IT dashboard. We will review supporting documentation to verify the department's reported actions.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Labor should direct the CIO to report on the department's progress in consolidating the cloud e-mail services to a shared service as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  35. Status: Open

    Comments: In its January 2014 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration reported it was continuing to work towards including all IT investments in its enterprise architecture and established a goal for including 80 percent of the investments in the architecture by the end of fiscal year 2016. In August 2014, the agency stated that all of the IT investments managed by the Office of the Chief Information Officer (representing 12 percent of the IT budget had been included in the enterprise architecture.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration should direct the CIO to reflect 100 percent of information technology investments in the agency's enterprise architecture.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  36. Status: Open

    Comments: In its January 2014 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration reported on efforts to address the four elements of the action plan cited and stated it would describe these efforts in its quarterly portfolio updates to OMB. We will review the agency's quarterly reports to determine whether they include the efforts described to us.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO; (2) target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation; (3) establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments; and (4) establish a process to identify these potential investments and a schedule for eliminating them from the portfolio.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  37. Status: Open

    Comments: In its January 2014 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) stated it would report to OMB on the progress of the NASA Integrated Communications Services Consolidated Configuration Management System until completion. In August 2014, the agency reported that the initiatiave wss completed in April 2014. We will review NASA's reporting to OMB to determine whether it included progress reports on the consolidation initiative.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration should direct the CIO to report on the agency's progress in consolidating the NASA Integrated Communications Services Consolidated Configuration Management System to a shared service as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  38. Status: Open

    Comments: In its February 2014 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the National Archives and Records Administration reported that the four action plan elements identified in the recommendation had been included in the latest information resources management strategic plan submitted to OMB. We will review the plan to determine whether the elements were included as reported.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Archivist of the United States should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO; (2) target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation; (3) establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments; and (4) establish a process to identify these potential investments and a schedule for eliminating them from the portfolio.

    Agency Affected: National Archives and Records Administration

  39. Status: Open

    Comments: In September 2014, the National Science Foundation (NSF) reported that while OMB had not requested that the agency provide updates to the 2012 PortfolioStat action plan, NSF had provided different, OMB-requested documentation in support of annual PortfolioStat activities. We will follow up with NSF to determine the extent to which the documentation provided to OMB addresses our recommendation.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Director of the National Science Foundation should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO and (2) establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments.

    Agency Affected: National Science Foundation

  40. Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2014, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reported that it was making progress in centralizing its IT commodity spending under one contract and described actions it was taking to achieve this goal. Specifically, NRC noted that it was transitioning to a new IT investment classification methodology to better capture and classify IT costs including commodity IT costs. The agency also reported it was planning to (1) review all multiple IT support contracts to determine if costs are captured in specific alignment with the OMB category definitions and (2) reach out to other comparable agencies to solicit best practices.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency Affected: Nuclear Regulatory Commission

  41. Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2014, the National Regulatory Commmission provided examples of actions it was taking to address improve access control, optimize investment management, improve mobile contract management, and update virtualization data--all action items from its 2013 PortfolioStat session. We will follow up with the agency to determine progress in addressing the action plan elements mentioned in our recommendation (from the 2012 PortfolioStat) and whether this progress was reported to OMB.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO; (2) establish targets for commodity IT spending reductions and deadlines for meeting those targets; (3) target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation; and (4) establish a process to identify these potential investments and a schedule for eliminating them from the portfolio.

    Agency Affected: Nuclear Regulatory Commission

  42. Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2014, the Office of Personnel Management reported it would continue to update its commodity IT baseline to OMB as required and established a target of May 2015 for fully implementing the recommendation. We will follow up with the agency to determine what specific actions it is taking to ensure the completeness of its commodity IT baseline.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency Affected: Office of Personnel Management

  43. Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2014, the Office of Personnel Management reported that it was working to address the action plan elements identified in the recommendation and stated it would report on them to OMB as soon as practicable. The agency established May 2015 as a target for fully implementing the recommendation.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) move at least two commodity IT areas to shared services and (2) target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation.

    Agency Affected: Office of Personnel Management

  44. Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2014, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) reported it was continuing to make progress in consolidating the help desk function and moving its IT asset inventory to shared services. OPM also reported it would report its progress to OMB through the quarterly reporting process. We will review OPM's quarterly reports to OMB to determine whether they include information on the help desk and IT asset inventory efforts.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management should direct the CIO to report on the agency's progress in consolidating the help desk consolidation and IT asset inventory to shared services as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: Office of Personnel Management

  45. Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2014, the Small Business Administration reported that it now has contract support to better identify, control, record, and audit its commodity IT baseline. The agency also noted that it would be awarding a new contract to provide capital planning and investment control support and governance in September 2014. We will follow up with the Small Busines Adminstration to obtain documentation supporting these actions.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Administrator of the Small Business Administration should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency Affected: Small Business Administration

  46. Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2014, the Small Business Administration reported that it holds quarterly PortfolioStat reviews with OMB and also reports to OMB on a quarterly basis through the integrated data collection reporting process. We will follow up with the Snall Business Administration to determine the extent to which it is reporting on the status of the action plan elements.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Administrator of the Small Business Administration should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO; (2) establish targets for commodity IT spending reductions and deadlines for meeting those targets; (3) target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation; and (4) establish a process to identify those potential investments and a schedule for eliminating them from the portfolio.

    Agency Affected: Small Business Administration

  47. Status: Open

    Comments: In September 2014, the Social Security Administration (SSA) reported that the instruction set for its Special Expense Item process through which all non-labor IT dollars go now includes the definition of commodity IT baseline, and the requirement to identify all commodity IT baseline funds requested. The agency also reported it will report the commodity IT baseline results for fiscal year 2015 in its November integrated data collection report. We will review the instruction set for the Special Expense Item process and SSA's Noveember integrated data collection report to verify SSA's reported actions.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency Affected: Social Security Administration

  48. Status: Open

    Comments: In September 2014, the Social Security Administration (SSA) reported progress made in consolidating the geospatial architecture to a shared service and noted it expected completing the effort by the end of September. We will follow up with the agency to determine whether it completed the effort as planned and find out about any associated reporting to OMB.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should direct the CIO to report on the agency's progress in consolidating the geospatial architecture to a shared service as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: Social Security Administration

  49. Status: Open

    Comments: According to the Department of State, as of August 2014, all major and non-major IT investments and corresponding assets have been captured in the department's enterprise architecture artifacts. We will follow up with the department to obtain documentation supporting this action.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of State should direct the CIO to reflect 100 percent of information technology investments in the department's enterprise architecture.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  50. Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2014, the Department of State reported taking several actions to address the action plan elements we determined had not been fully described in our review. For example, it provided the Integrated Logistics Management System and the Global IT Modernization program as examples of two commodity IT investments it had moved to shared services and reported that it instituted review processes to identify duplicative efforts within the IT portfolio. The department, however, did not state whether it had addressed these items in its reporting to OMB, which was the focus of our recommendation. We will follow up with the department to address this.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of State should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO; (2) establish targets for commodity IT spending reductions and deadlines for meeting those targets; (3) move at least two commodity IT areas to shared services; (4) target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation; and (5) establish a process to identify those potential investments and a schedule for eliminating them from the portfolio.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  51. Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2014, the Department of State reported that it had completed the content publishing and delivery services initiative and was reporting on its progress in consolidating the Foreign Affairs Network initiative to shared services through the OMB budget process. We will follow up with the agency to obtain supporting documentation for these actions.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of State should direct the CIO to report on the department's progress in consolidating the Foreign Affairs Network and content publishing and delivery services to shared services as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  52. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Transportation reported actions it had taken to address its action plan elements as of August 2014, including identifying and eliminating duplication through its established governance process. However, the department did not address whether it was reporting on these elements to OMB, which was the focus of the recommendation. We will follow up with officials to address this issue.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of Transportation should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO; (2) establish targets for commodity IT spending reductions and deadlines for meeting those targets; (3) target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation; and (4) establish a process to identify those potential investments and a schedule for eliminating them from the portfolio.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  53. Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2014, the Department of Transportation reported that it was waiting for OMB to revise the Integrated Data Collection tool in order to report on its progress in consolidating its Enterprise Messaging initiative to shared services. We will follow up with the agency to discuss other mechanisms for reporting its progress to OMB in the interim.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Transportation should direct the CIO to report on the department's progress in consolidating the Enterprise Messaging to shared services as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  54. Status: Open

    Comments: In September 2014, the Departmnent of Treasury provided information on its efforts to address its action plan elements, including (1) establishing a general approach to reviewing new investment requests that reportedly considers risk, value and cost, and (2) driving Treasury's IT investment portfolio toward common platforms whenever possible. However, the department did not address whether it was reporting on these efforts to OMB, which was the focus of our recommendation. We plan to follow up with the department on this.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of the Treasury should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) consolidate commodity IT spending under the agency CIO and (2) establish criteria for identifying wasteful, low-value, or duplicative investments.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury

  55. Status: Open

    Comments: In September 2014, the department provided several examples of processes it had in place to identify opportunities to reduce duplicative, low-value or wasteful investments, including annual reviews of each major IT investment and monthly portfolio reviews. We will follow up with the department to obtain supporting documentation.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, as the department finalizes and matures its enterprise architecture and valuation methodology, the Secretary of the Treasury should direct the CIO to utilize these processes to identify whether there are additional opportunities to reduce duplicative, low-value, or wasteful investments.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury

  56. Status: Open

    Comments: The department has now provided documentation related to its DoNotPay Business Center, Fiscal IT Data Center Consolidation, and Business Process Management Status initiatives. We will review the information provided and follow up with the department as appropriate.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of the Treasury should direct the CIO to develop support for the estimated savings for fiscal years 2013 to 2015 for the DoNotPay Business Center, Fiscal IT Data Center Consolidation and Business Process Management Status initiatives.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury

  57. Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2014, the US Agency for International Development reported actions underway and planned to address this recommendation. Among other things, the agency noted that its Office of the Chief Information Officer in the Management Bureau (M/CIO) will review and update its internal procedures as required to ensure that the enterprise architecture includes all IT investments reported to the M/CIO. The agency specified an October 2014 target date for addressing the recommendation.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct the CIO to reflect 100 percent of information technology investments in the agency's enterprise architecture.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

  58. Status: Open

    Comments: In its February 2014 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the US Agency for International Development stated it would develop a complete commodity IT baseline by October 2014. In August 2014, the agency reported that, to this end, its Office of the Chief Information Officer in the Management Bureau had (1) defined a repeatable process of reporting IT commodity information to OMB through the integrated data collection tool and (2) was standardizing the documentation of collection methods for the data required in the integrated data collection tool. We will follow up to request and review supporting documentation.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct the CIO to develop a complete commodity IT baseline.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

  59. Status: Open

    Comments: In its February 2014 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the U.S. Agency for International Development reported that it expects to address this recommendation by October 2014. In an August 2014 update, the agency reported progress in addressing the action plan elements identified in our recommendation. Specifically, it stated that it (1) was using its IT strategic planning process to confirm the agency's enterprise architecture inventory of systems and its alignment to business functions, and (2) had launched a pilot of a software license management application to identify redundant products or multiple licenses from the same vendor.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan elements: (1) target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation and (2) establish a process to identify those potential investments and a schedule for eliminating them from the portfolio.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

  60. Status: Open

    Comments: In August 2014, the US Agency for International Development reported that it had completed the consolidation of the email Telecommunications and Operations Center to sharte services and reported this to OMB in PortfolioStat update. We will review documentation supporting the agency's claim and update the status of this recommendation as appropriate.

    Recommendation: To improve the agency's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct the CIO to report on the agency's progress in consolidating the e-mail and Telecommunication and Operations Center to shared services as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

  61. Status: Open

    Comments: In its December 2013 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Vetrans Affairs described efforts underway to target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation. For example, the department stated that the Office of Information Technology's Ruthless Reduction Task Force and Vendor Management Office were working together to identify duplicative efforts, cost avoidances with enterprise license agreements negotiations, and strategic sourcing opportunities. The department also stated that it would be reporting on its efforts to OMB as we recommended. We will periodically follow up with the department on its efforts and update the status of the recommendation's implementation as appropriate.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, in future reporting to OMB, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs should direct the CIO to fully describe the following PortfolioStat action plan element: target duplicative systems or contracts that support common business functions for consolidation.

    Agency Affected: Department of Veterans Affairs

  62. Status: Open

    Comments: In its December 2013 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Veterans affairs stated that it did not move its dedicated fax servers to a shared service as planned because the return on investment was estimated to be significantly lower than planned. The department stated that the initiative was instead being reprioritized and considered for a future budget cycle. We will periodically follow-up with the department on this effort, and, if it is implemented, follow up on the related reporting to OMB.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs should direct the CIO to report on the department's progress in consolidating the dedicated fax servers to a shared service as part of the OMB integrated data collection quarterly reporting until completed.

    Agency Affected: Department of Veterans Affairs

  63. Status: Open

    Comments: In its December 2013 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Veterans Affairs provided examples of current and planned uses of its enterprise architecture process to identify opportunities to reduce duplicative, low-value, or wasteful investments. We will follow up with the department to obtain supporting documentation and find out about the use of its valuation model.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, as the department matures its enterprise architecture process, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs should direct the CIO to make use of it, as well as the valuation model, to identify whether there are additional opportunities to reduce duplicative, low-value, or wasteful investments.

    Agency Affected: Department of Veterans Affairs

  64. Status: Open

    Comments: In its December 2013 statement of actions to address our recommendations, the Department of Veterans Affairs provided the status of efforts to develop detailed support for the four initiatives identified in our recommendation. Specifically, the deparmtent stated that the scope of the Server Virtualization initiative was revised to achieve greater servier utilization and the return on investment and cost avoidance estimates are being revised accordingly. The Eliminate Dedicated Fax Servers Consolidation iniitative was reportedly postposed to a later fiscal year. The department provided revised cost estimates for the Renegotiate Microsoft Enterprise License Agreement. Finally, the department stated that the One CPU Policy initiative was merged with another and the new cost estimate is being developed based on the consolidation strategy. We plan to obtain supporting documentation for the estimates that were provided and follow up with the department at a later date to obtain the estimates (and associated support) that are currently being developed.

    Recommendation: To improve the department's implementation of PortfolioStat, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs should direct the CIO to develop detailed support for the estimated savings for fiscal years 2013 to 2015 for the Server Virtualization, Eliminate Dedicated Fax Servers Consolidation, Renegotiate Microsoft Enterprise License Agreement, and one CPU policy initiatives.

    Agency Affected: Department of Veterans Affairs

 

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