Government Accountability Office, Information Technology: HUD's Expenditure Plan Satisfied Statutory Conditions; Sustained Controls and Modernization Approach Needed (GAO-14-283) (Feb. 12, 2014) (full-text).
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) relies extensively on information technology (IT) to administer its community and housing programs. However, because HUD's IT environment has not effectively supported these programs, the department has been working to modernize its infrastructure and systems and implement management controls to overcome shortcomings in its capabilities. To facilitate oversight of these efforts, Congress set limitations on HUD's modernization funding. Specifically, the fiscal year 2013 appropriations act carried forward requirements for HUD to submit an expenditure plan that satisfied two sets of statutory conditions and was reviewed by GAO before all of the agency's modernization funding could be released. For fiscal year 2013, HUD submitted a plan that sought to obligate $24.2 million for 16 projects.
In reviewing the plan, the GAO's objectives were to (1) determine whether the plan met statutory conditions and (2) provide any observations about the plan. To accomplish this, the GAO analyzed the plan against the statutory conditions and compared its contents to HUD documentation, prior GAO reports, and best practices.
Given the importance of managing and modernizing HUD's IT environment, the GAO is recommending that the Secretary of HUD direct the Chief Information Officer to (1) establish a means for evaluating progress toward institutionalizing management controls and (2) define its overall modernization approach to effectively oversee the efforts.