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GAO Finds Little Progress in FDA IT Modernization Program

Site: dbb.defense.gov

The Government Accountability Office found the Food and Drug Administration has not met its own goals of modernizing information technology infrastructure, NextGov reports.

GAO issued a report, Monday finding that the FDA has spent more than $280 million on its IT modernization program since 2002.

The FDA launched its mission accomplishments and regulatory compliance services program in 2002, with the goal of improving its IT applications and information accessibility for employees.

GAO said the FDA redirected resources for a program toward data center modernization in 2005 and has since revised its baselines four times to accommodate additional costs.

The MARCS program originally included two legacy system updates to function with newer systems, but increased to include eight Web-based systems.

However, none of these systems have been replaced as of February, GAO said.

The FDA’s program included 30 service components, but the agency has only reached the implementation or maintenance stage for eight of those programs.

Twelve have yet to be started, according to GAO.

The government watchdog said the FDA has much to do to fully implement standardized data sharing and suggested the FDA develop a comprehensive inventory of its IT systems.

The GAO also suggested the FDA develop integrated master schedules that indicate which systems will be worked on or replaced and when the work will be complete.

The Department of Health and Human Services said the FDA is working to address the problems its IT modernization program has encountered.

GAO found similar problems with FDA’s technology systems in 2009, suggesting the agency lacked a strategic plan to synchronize its multiple initiatives.

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