Lawmakers Grill Federal CIO On Data Center Figures

Wyatt Kash | InformationWeek Government | July 26, 2013

House subcommittee hammers Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel on how federal data center tally suddenly doubled.

Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel, speaking before a House subcommittee Thursday, defended the Office of Management and Budget's sudden acknowledgement that the number of federal data centers now totaled more than 7,000, more than twice the number that had been reported as recently as May.

Little more than two months ago, VanRoekel, who also serves as OMB acting deputy director for management, reported that agencies had already closed 484 out of 3,133 federal data centers and were on track to close a total of 855 by Sept. 30, the end of the government's fiscal year. The closures are part of the OMB's three-year old Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, aimed at reducing the number of duplicative and underutilized data centers by 40% by the end of 2015.

VanRoekel found himself in the hot seat at a hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations Thursday, after OMB began acknowledging, but not formally announcing, that a change in definition had resulted in agencies reporting that the number of qualifying facilities was actually more than twice what had been originally reported.