GAO: Communication key for successful IT programs


When it comes to successfully executing major information technology acquisitions, consistent and open dialogue between program officials and stakeholders is key, according to a review of several federal IT programs.

The Government Accountability Office report identifies common factors shared by successful IT programs within government:

– Program officials are actively engaged with stakeholders.

– Program staff has the necessary knowledge and skills.

– Senior department and agency executives support the programs.

– End users and stakeholders are involved in the development of requirements.

– End users participate in testing of system functionality prior to formal end user acceptance testing.

– Government and contractor staff are stable and consistent.

– Program staff prioritizes requirements.

– Program officials maintain regular communication with the prime contractor.

– Programs receive sufficient funding.

Transportation Department’ Integrated Terminal Weather System, which provides weather information to 2,210 air traffic controllers and and flight support personnel, and the Department of Homeland Security’s Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative are among the seven IT investments included in the report. DHS’ Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative aids officials at ports of entry with inspections and has a total estimated lifecycle cost of $2 billion.


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