OMB Should Improve IT Investment Guidance, Watchdog Says

October 26, 2011

The Office of Management and Budget should give federal agencies better guidance on what counts as an information technology investment and what doesn't and demand more information on what they're doing to reduce duplicative IT spending, a watchdog said Wednesday.

The report from the Government Accountability Office also urged OMB to clarify which agencies are included in its oft-cited figure of roughly $80 billion in annual IT investments and which aren't.

That figure doesn't include several small, independent or intelligence-focused agencies. When those agencies' IT investments are added in, the government's IT footprint is significantly higher.

OMB generally agreed with the first set of recommendations, but rejected the suggestion it should better explain its $80 billion in annual IT spending figure, saying the distinctions are sufficiently clear, GAO said. 

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