Federal agencies are making substantial progress in the data center consolidation initiative although they “continue to be challenged in identifying and reporting their cost savings,” GAO has reported.

GAO said that the 24 departments and largest independent agencies identified just under 10,000 data centers, of which they had closed nearly 4,400 as of last August, with plans to close a total of nearly 5,600 by fiscal 2019.

Eighteen of the 24 reported savings of about $2.3 billion from 2012 through last August, with Commerce, DoD, DHS and Treasury accounting for about 80 percent of that. However, that was $450 million below the amount reported in late 2015, and the projected savings over 2016-2018 from all but one of the 24 now stand at just under $660 million, down from $4 billion projected earlier.

Further, of the 23 agencies that had submitted a strategic plan, only seven included all the required information. “Until agencies submit plans that address all required elements, they may be challenged in implementing the data center consolidation and optimization,” the report said.

GAO also said it identified inconsistencies in how 11 agencies reported historical cost savings, resulting in a reporting discrepancy of $1.5 billion between their strategic plans and their quarterly reports to OMB.