As part of the administration’s plan to review and overhaul many federal information technology programs, the Office of Management and Budget Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra issued a memorandum yesterday outlining the upcoming reform of government IT projects.
The review comes as part of the OMB Memorandum 10-25, “Reforming the Federal Government’s Efforts to Manage Information Technology Projects,” and hopes to increase efficiency while cutting costs.
Starting August 2, the administration will look into each departments’ IT projects that are most at-risk because of cost, schedule, performance and/or leadership deficiencies, starting with the departments of Energy and Interior. They will then go through every agency over the following two weeks.
“In order to justify future funding for these projects,” Kundra stated, “agencies will need to demonstrate that project risks can be reduced to acceptable levels through actions such as setting proper project scope, defining clear deliverables and mission-oriented outcomes, and putting in place a strong governance structure with explicit executive sponsorship.”
The administration is attempting to stop funding projects that fail to produce significant results.
In the memorandum, Kundra provided three steps in which agencies should follow to develop and implement plans for IT projects. Agencies will identify high-risk projects, develop improvement plans and present the plans in a TechStat session.
According to OMB, the finalized list of all high-risk IT projects across all agencies will be completed by August 23 and agencies will be required to submit improvement plans no later than 30 days after the projects are identified.
OMB then will put together a list of 25 to 30 projects that are in the worst shape and put them through TechStat Accountability Sessions, which are held from September to November.
“The TechStat sessions will be used to inform OMB decisions on FY 2012 budget requests and potential FY 2011 apportionments,” Kundra said. “TechStat sessions will also provide feedback and recommendations to agencies concerning project scope, management and oversight.”