Information Technology: Digital Service Programs Need to Consistently Coordinate on Developing Guidance for Agencies

What GAO Uncovered For fiscal year 2021, 26 federal organizations reported 7,806 information technologies (IT)…

Information Technology: Digital Service Programs Need to Consistently Coordinate on Developing Guidance for Agencies

What GAO Uncovered

For fiscal year 2021, 26 federal organizations reported 7,806 information technologies (IT) investments on the federal IT Dashboard, a general public internet site the Workplace of Administration and Price range (OMB) introduced in 2009. OMB calls for businesses to report their IT investments on the dashboard and categorize them in various ways that assistance describe their objective. For fiscal year 2021, agencies described their investments in one particular of three portfolio types: IT infrastructure, protection, and management (45 %) mission supply (37 percent) and mission help providers (18 percent). Additionally, agencies are to classify every of their investments below a person of 225 unique company types. The two company classes with the optimum prepared fiscal 12 months 2021 spending were being IT infrastructure ($17.9 billion) and wellness care delivery solutions ($3.9 billion).

About the previous 10 several years, GAO has issued 12 experiences that bundled 275 tips to organizations to deal with concerns similar to duplicative IT, these as weaknesses in the processes businesses utilised to reduce deal duplication. GAO also produced 117 suggestions in 6 reviews to deal with problems connected to IT management roles and tasks, this kind of as unclear responsibilities for main facts officers and acquisition officers. As of October 2021, businesses experienced applied a total of 290 (74 %) of the tips. Employing the remaining 102 would give companies bigger assurance that they are efficiently taking care of IT acquisitions and functions.

Standing of GAO Recommendations Relevant to Duplicative Information Technologies (IT) and IT Management Roles and Tasks, as of October 2021


Amount of associated recommendations

Amount thoroughly implemented

Number not absolutely applied

Duplicative IT


238 (87 %)

37 (13 percent)

Roles and obligations


52 (44 percent)

65 (56 per cent)





Supply: GAO examination of GAO studies. | GAO-22-104492

OMB’s U.S. Electronic Assistance (USDS) and the Standard Services Administration’s 18F system offices support organizations provide electronic services, such as community going through web sites and on-line gain apps. These offices perform identical things to do to satisfy their missions, these kinds of as furnishing IT knowledge on agencies’ assignments, recruiting IT experts, and producing assistance to help businesses. Despite the fact that USDS and 18F coordinated on tasks and recruiting attempts, they did not always do so to stay away from creating duplicative IT steerage. Precisely, neither entity experienced an established, documented coordination approach, even although they had issued guidance on the exact IT acquisition and improvement matters with related information. USDS and 18F officers acknowledged the need to boost direction coordination, but did not have certain plans to do so. Documenting a coordinated technique for acquiring and issuing assistance would cut down the danger of overlap and duplication, and the possible for conflicting information.

Why GAO Did This Study

Federal companies devote far more than $100 billion every year on IT to improve mission supply and assist and enhance infrastructure, safety, and administration. Nevertheless, simply because of longstanding challenges, the federal government’s administration of IT acquisitions and functions has been on GAO’s large-risk list due to the fact 2015.

The Modernizing Govt Technologies Act of 2017 included a provision for GAO to critique federal IT programs and entities, together with USDS and 18F, and the extent to which they copy work.

This report (1) describes investments identified on the federal IT Dashboard, (2) summarizes prior GAO suggestions and present-day implementation position on IT duplication and administration roles and tasks, and (3) evaluates USDS’s and 18F’s efforts to coordinate IT solutions to keep away from overlap and duplication.

To do so, GAO (1) examined IT details documented by 26 companies on the federal IT Dashboard (2) identified prior GAO experiences that evaluated duplicative IT and IT roles and duties, and established the quantity and implementation position of applicable tips and (3) when compared USDS and 18F coordination routines with primary collaboration procedures recognized in GAO’s prior do the job.

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