GAO has said that agencies still falling short in planning for their IT workforces, which it called “key to addressing the federal government’s IT challenges and ensuring that agencies have staff with the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities.”
At a House hearing a witness pointed to a series of reports GAO calling attention to that issue, including one from 2019 finding that most of the 24 Cabinet departments and largest independent agencies had only “minimally implemented or had not implemented five” of eight major workforce planning activities it identified, including developing strategies to address skills gaps. While most of those agencies agreed with the recommendations, none have fully carried them out, he said.
Similarly, he said that 21 of those agencies still have not implemented recommendations from 2018 regarding the role of CIO offices, including ensuring that program staff have the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively acquire IT.
Further, he said that OMB still has not updated its guidance as GAO recommended at that time regarding CIO responsibilities over personnel and “until OMB updates its guidance to address these responsibilities, CIOs may not have the personnel needed to effectively acquire, maintain, and secure their IT systems.”
However, he added that agencies have been making more progress toward other IT challenges including modernizing or replacing obsolete systems.