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Kundra Announces Government-Wide Review of Federal IT Projects

David Clow
Photo: David Clow

The Office of Management and Budget issued yesterday a government-wide memorandum announcing an upcoming review of all high-risk IT projects across the federal government.

The review comes as part of the OMB Memorandum 10-25, “Reforming the Federal Government’s Efforts to Manage Information Technology Projects.”

Earlier in the month, federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra announced the administration’s plan to review and overhaul many federal technology programs and stressed how the review’s aim is to increase returns on IT projects rather than to cut spending.

The announcement made yesterday is the first step in these efforts to increase IT efficiency.

“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.”

In the memorandum, Kundra outlined 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. The plans will then be reviewed in OMB TechStat Accountability Sessions 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.”

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