Federal Manager's Daily Report

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GAO has given a mixed review to the data center optimization initiative, finding that while the two dozen agencies involved exceeded their goal for closing centers in 2020, they were less successful in meeting their goals to optimize continuing centers–such as reducing the number of underutilized servers—due to technical and budget constraints.

GAO said that in addition to the 96 closures in 2020, agencies had closed or were closing another 80 in 2021, and projected a total of $6.6 billion in savings from those actions over 2012-2021. “However, closures and savings are expected to slow in the future,” with plans to close another 83 through 2025 at a projected saving of $46.3 million.

Progress toward meeting targets for virtualization, data center availability, advance energy metering, and underutilized servers also was mixed, the GAO said, with about half of the agencies having met each target in each case while some of the rest did not report, either because they previously had met their target or because OMB had granted an exception.

“Until agencies fully address all previous GAO recommendations to meet their optimization performance targets, they are unlikely to fully realize the expected benefits, including cost savings,” it said, noting that 25 prior recommendations are still outstanding.

It said that of the agencies, six agreed with GAO’s recommendation to carry out the remaining prior recommendations, eight neither agreed nor disagreed and 11 had no comment.

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