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OMB Rolls Out TechStat Toolkit for Agency-level Accountability Sessions

Federal CIO Vivek Kundra, Photo: omb.gov

The Office of Management and Budget wants to expand TechStat accountability sessions — face-to-face reviews of IT projects where OMB leaders and agency heads sit down together at the table to discuss IT progress.

And, the agency is now offering a new “toolkit” for departments to hold their own department-level accountability sessions.

The original sessions were singled out by federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra as an essential piece of the federal IT acquisition reform and as part of broader efforts to hold to account often out-of-control IT spending.

In fact, as mandated by the government’s reform plans, agencies must roll out their individual, micro TechStat models at the departmental level by March.

The toolkit is a “comprehensive guide for agencies to establish their own TechStat” procedures, according to CIO.gov. It includes templates and detailed action plans.

“Effective implementation of TechStats will help . . . improve line-of-sight between project teams and senior executives, increase the precision of ongoing measurement of IT program health and boost the quality and timing of interventions to keep projects on track,” a posting on CIO.gov explains.

OMB launched the first accountability sessions  in January 2010.

“TechStat sessions enable the government to turnaround, halt or terminate IT investments that do not produce dividends for the American people,” Kundra wrote in a blog post explaining the review sessions at the time. “Investments are carefully analyzed with a focus on problem solving that leads to concrete action to improve performance.”

TechStat took part of its name and its focus from the well-known New York City crime-fighting program CompStat, where local officers and the top brass discussed police performance.

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