Federal Manager's Daily Report

OMB has produced some of the information Congress has sought regarding the government’s most significant IT projects but that information is incomplete, GAO has said.

GAO noted that out of concern about cost overruns and schedule delays, Congress ordered reporting on the top 10 high priority IT programs, resulting in reports from OMB in 2015 and 2016. Later, Congress directed the U.S. Digital Service, a branch of OMB, to report quarterly on its ongoing projects, including the top 10 high priority programs. OMB then stopped issuing the former reports on grounds that the new directive to USDS meant that OMB should only report on USDS projects considered to be high priority.

“Continuing to identify and report on the top 10 high priority programs while also reporting on USDS’s projects would help to enhance congressional oversight and current administration IT governance entities’ efforts by providing stakeholders with information that is not readily available,” GAO said, adding that the USDS reports are not being issued quarterly as directed.

GAO also called for more involvement by the Federal CIO’s office, citing the savings identified in that office’s reviews of troubled projects, known as TechStat reviews. “Until OMB ensures that the Federal CIO is more directly involved in the oversight of these high priority programs, it may be missing a key opportunity to improve accountability and achieve positive results,” it said.