US CIO issues government-wide application audit

Steven Van Roeckel launches IT portfolio management exercise to identify wasteful, low value and duplicate systems

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US CIO issues government-wide application audit

The CIO of the US federal government has launched an initiative to get its application portfolio under control.

In an official blog post, Steven Van Roeckel announced that federal agencies will be provided with a tool, named PortfolioStat, that will allow them to "assess the current maturity of their IT portfolio management process and make decisions on eliminating duplication across their organisations".

Van Roeckel said that agency chief operating officers will be obliged to initiate a "high-level" survey of their IT portfolio status, and provide data that will be used to assess the current state of IT portfolio management across agencies.

This data will be used to set IT cost reduction targets for each agency, set benchmarks, and to establish criteria for "identifying wasteful, “low-value,” or duplicative investments".

The name of the programme is designed to echo TechStat, an initiative launched by Van Roeckel's predecessor Vivek Kundra to audit IT spending.

Van Roeckel wrote that the programme was inspired by IT portfolio initiatives in the private sector. "Leading private sector companies have been leveraging improved IT portfolio management tools for some time," he said.

Earlier this month, the US Office of Management and Budget relaunched its Federal IT Dashboard, a website that displays IT spending data across federal government.

The dashboard reveals how much each agency spends on IT, and the evaluation of each investment by the agency's CIO. Unsurprisingly, the US Department of Defense is by far the biggest IT spender. The Department of Energy was deemed by its own CIO to have invested in IT most effectively.

 

Just over a year ago, the UK government published data on the performance of its major IT projects up to July 2010. One of the goals of the Cabinet Office's 'business plan' to "begin regular publication of performance details of all ICT projects above £1m", and it is described on the Number 10 transparency website as ‘Completed’. However, the data has not been updated for over a year.