Browsing: OMB

OMB to announce cuts for IT projects

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The Office of Management and Budget says hundreds of millions of dollars in budget reductions are expected to come from the restructuring or cancelation of selected financial system modernization projects. OMB acting director Jeffrey Zients and controller Danny Werfel will announce today the fate of financial system modernization projects that were halted for review last month.   In August, a total of 26 IT projects were identified as “high risk” and subjected to a thorough review before moving forward. Improvement plans are being developed, and they should include details of projects risks, new contractor performance metrics and more rigorous project…

Zeints to helm OMB until Lew confirmed

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Politico is reporting that federal chief performance officer Jeffrey Zeints will be the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget until Peter Orszag’s replacement, Jack Lew, is confirmed by the Senate. Rob Nabors, a former Orszag deputy who has been serving as senior adviser to President Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, will return to OMB as acting deputy directo, Politico reports. When Lew is able to take over, he’ll face a tough road trying to advance the administration’s budget-cutting efforts, as my colleague Steve Losey reported recently.

Dashboards, dashboards, dashboards!

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The Obama administration has yet another dashboard on the way. Dan Gordon, head of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, told Federal Times in a statement that the administration will launch a dashboard to track agencies’ progress on acquisition reform later this summer. The administration has had its much-ballyhooed IT dashboard up and running for about a year, and is working on another dashboard to track agencies’ progress toward “high priority performance goals.” Dave McClure at GSA is also working on something called a “citizen dashboard” that we probably won’t see until sometime next year. Some agencies, apparently realizing that…

Federal contracting: geyser or tsunami?

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The water metaphors were flowing at yesterday’s Senate Budget Committee hearing on federal contracting. In his opening statement, Office of Federal Procurement Policy administrator Dan Gordon mentioned the massive growth in government contracting over the last decade. He said that acquisition workers “couldn’t cope with this tsunami of buying that was taking place.” Not to be outdone, Rhode Island Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse later said that “more than half a trillion dollars a year and climbing is clearly a geyser of taxpayer funds that needs to be carefully watched.” Either way, it sounds like taxpayers are taking a bath.

DHS gets federal cybersecurity portfolio

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The Office of Management and Budget has officially tabbed the Homeland Security Department to oversee cybersecurity in the executive branch, as OMB indicated would be the case in April. A memo this week from OMB Director Peter Orszag and federal cybersecurity coordinator Howard Schmidt gives DHS responsibility for: • overseeing the government-wide and agency-specific implementation of and reporting on cybersecurity policies and guidance; • overseeing and assisting government-wide and agency-specific efforts to provide adequate, risk-based and cost-effective cybersecurity; • overseeing the agencies’ compliance with FISMA and developing analyses for OMB to assist in the development of the FISMA annual report;…

More on OMB's performance reviews

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Shelley Metzenbaum, OMB’s associate director for performance and personnel management, issued a memo on performance management today that didn’t seem to say much beyond previously announced plans to meet with agencies on their high-priority goals and set up a website to track agencies’ performance. One interesting line, though, was this one: “Agencies should consider this year a transition year during which OMB and the [Performance Improvement Council] will move to a more dynamic performance planning, management, improvement, and reporting framework that is useful, streamlined and coherent.” This seems to indicate that OMB is going to establish some kind of performance-management…

OMB to halt 30 financial systems projects

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The Office of Management and Budget is going to announce today that it’s halting all financial systems modernization projects across the government. That means 30 projects worth $20 billion are now effectively on hold until OMB can come up with a way to improve the procurement process in this area. The most well-known failure in this area is the Veterans Affairs Department’s CoreFLS project (since replaced by a new program called FLITE that hasn’t gone much better). The department has spent a total of about $300 million on this boondoggle over 10 years and has seen no tangible benefits. Jeff…

They always come in threes…

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First Peter Orszag. Then Gen. Stanley McChrystal. And CNN just reported that Kal Penn, better known as Kumar, has officially left the White House. It’s hard to tell which will be the most devastating loss to the administration. Seriously, though, the Washington Post’s Al Kamen has a roundup of potential Orszag replacements here, including current Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry. But whoever ends up replacing Orszag will face the thankless task of reducing the nation’s deficit, as Slate’s Christopher Beam details here.

How would you fix agency IT systems?

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Federal Chief Performance Officer Jeff Zients wants to know how you’d improve the government’s IT systems. Obama administration officials, led by federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra, met Jan. 14 with CEOs of companies such as United Airlines and Weyerhaeuser to discuss how to better employ technology to make agencies more efficient and responsive. Zients posted summaries of the executives’ recommendations on his Office of Management and Budget blog and invites readers to comment on the suggestions. Some of the recommendations include: Agencies should serve customers through their preferred channels, such as self-service online. Agencies should keep IT projects from…

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