Fed Agency IT Collaboration Stumbles

Anthony Brino | Government Health IT | November 13, 2013

With the federal government spending some $82 billion on IT in the 2014 fiscal year, the Obama Administration’s Office of Management and Budget has been trying to get more bang for those bucks by promoting smarter, shared IT, but there are some roadblocks to the plan, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The OMB’s PortfolioStat initiative, launched in 2012, required 26 major federal agencies, including HHS, NASA, Treasury and the VA, to participate in a collaborative process for IT design and procurement and to develop plans for consolidation and shared services in areas of commodity technology.

According to a review by the GAO, all of those 26 agencies have made some progress on four of PortfolioStat’s seven requirements: designating a team lead, completing an IT portfolio review, attending a collaborative workshop and submitting lessons learned. But other requirements have gone unmet by many of the agencies — only half met the key goal of migrating two systems to a shared service — and there are some structural impediments that vary by the agency, leaving PortfolioStat not entirely meeting expectations, the GAO found.