The agency is the Housing and Urban Development Department; the newly released Government Accountability Office review finds that HUD officials had a hard time just coming up with a congressionally mandated plan to lay out its IT buying strategy.
That document is required by a spending bill approved last December. Under its terms, HUD can’t obligate more than 25 percent of available money for IT modernization until the House and Senate appropriations committees receive details on key milestones, expected mission benefits and other basics.
But the department’s first try this spring left the GAO underwhelmed. Out of eight projects included in the plan, HUD failed to spell out “specific and measurable benefits” for five, the report says. The plan also did not fully meet conditions that each project be shown to comply with HUD’s enterprise architecture, be subject to lifecycle management policies, and be covered by capital planning and control requirements.
In general, HUD had failed to adequately establish any of the management controls needed for effective IT modernization, according to an earlier GAO briefing attached to the report, in large part because a new IT leadership team had recently been put in place and needed time to introduce a new approach. “Nevertheless, HUD continues to invest in multiple IT modernization projects,” the briefing says, “and may expand on the number of projects in the near term.”