TITLE

Information Technology Management: Governmentwide Strategic Planning, Performance Measurement, and Investment Management Can Be Further Improved: GAO-04-49

PUB. DATE
January 2004
SOURCE
GAO Reports;1/12/2004, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Government Document
DOC. TYPE
Report
ABSTRACT
Over the years, the Congress has promulgated laws and the Office of Management and Budget and GAO have issued policies and guidance, respectively, on (1) information technology (IT) strategic planning/performance measurement (which defines what an organization seeks to accomplish, identifies the strategies it will use to achieve desired results, and then determines how well it is succeeding in reaching resultsoriented goals and achieving objectives) and (2) investment management (which involves selecting, controlling, and evaluating investments). To obtain an understanding of the government's implementation of these key IT management policies, congressional requesters asked GAO to determine the extent to which 26 major agencies have in place practices associated with key legislative and other requirements for (1) IT strategic planning/ performance measurement and (2) IT investment management. Agencies' use of 12 IT strategic planning/performance measurement practices--identified based on legislation, policy, and guidance--is uneven. For example, agencies generally have IT strategic plans and goals, but these goals are not always linked to specific performance measures that are tracked. Without enterprisewide performance measures that are tracked against actual results, agencies lack critical information about whether their overall IT activities are achieving expected goals. Agencies' use of 18 IT investment management practices that GAO identified is also mixed. For example, the agencies largely have IT investment management boards, but no agency had the practices associated with the control phase fully in place. Executive-level oversight of project-level management activities provides organizations with increased assurance that each investment will achieve the desired cost, benefit, and schedule results. Agencies cited a variety of reasons for not having practices fully in place, such as that the chief information officer position had been vacant, that not including a requirement in guidance was an oversight, and that the process was being revised, although they could not always provide an explanation. Regardless of the reason, these practices are important ingredients for ensuring effective strategic planning, performance measurement, and investment management, which, in turn, make it more likely that the billions of dollars in government IT investments are wisely spent.
ACCESSION #
18173814

 

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