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The GAO has reiterated its call for federal agencies to address more than four dozen recommendations it has made regarding the data center consolidation program, while adding a new recommendation related to how utilization rates of those centers are measured.

A report said that agencies expect to have saved some $6.4 billion from 2012 through 2020, with almost all of the two dozen departments and largest independent agencies expecting to achieve their closure and savings goals.

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However, the GAO said that a 2019 policy change in the definition of what constitutes a data center resulted in removing some 4,500 from the government inventory and that OMB has not taken action on GAO’s recommendation to continue tracking them on grounds that “each such facility provided a potential access point, and that unsecured access points could aid cyber attacks.”

Also in 2019, it noted, OMB allowed agencies to develop their own definitions of what constitutes under-use, and as a result “agencies have adopted widely varying definitions and were no longer required to report actual utilization, a key measure of server efficiency.”

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