The federal government reportedly plans to spend at least $82 billion on IT in fiscal year 2014. Given the scale of such planned outlays and the criticality of many of these systems to the health, economy, and security of the nation, it is important that federal agencies successfully acquire these systems — that is, ensure that the systems are acquired on time and within budget and that they deliver the expected benefits and functionality.
However, the GAO has previously reported and testified that federal [[IT] projects too frequently incur cost overruns and schedule slippages while contributing little to mission-related outcomes. To help improve these efforts, the OMB has launched several initiatives intended to improve the oversight and management of IT acquisitions. In addition, during the past several years the GAO has issued multiple reports and testimonies on federal initiatives to acquire and improve the management of IT investments. As discussed with committee staff, GAO is testifying today on IT best practices, with a focus on the results of its report issued on the critical success factors of major IT acquisitions.