WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Senator Susan Collins today released this statement following the Obama Administration’s announcement of a plan to improve efficiencies and eliminate waste from the government’s technology operations.

"The reforms announced today by the Office of Management and Budget would put federal financial modernization projects on a shorter leash, and it’s about time. Many of the massive projects that agencies formerly embarked on were wastes of tax dollars beset with schedule delays and performance failures. OMB’s reforms will set tighter management controls over the projects and give priority to ‘mission critical’ projects. ‘Right-sizing’ these projects will increase the potential for success, improving accountability, transparency and management.

"In one example, OMB slashed the scope of the DHS financial system modernization project. I had been highly critical of this project, based on GAO’s concerns that requirements had been poorly defined and that the costs of the DHS-wide program could exceed $1 billion dollars. The decision to focus modernization on one DHS component before making the decision to expand the program further could help save millions of tax dollars. Nonetheless, DHS and OMB will need to continue to provide focused management and oversight of the program to promote success.

"These reforms must be extended to other IT procurements. A significant portion of the federal government’s IT spending is at risk every year from poorly planned and managed IT projects. That is why Congress must pass the Information Technology Investment Oversight and Waste Prevention Act of 2009, which I co-authored with Senator Carper. The bill would require federal agencies to produce an independent cost estimate and careful analysis of alternatives before embarking on risky projects that typically end up over-budget and behind schedule. The bill would also require agencies to alert Congress when an investment significantly deviates from the expected cost estimate and to conduct a rigorous analysis to get the project back on track. The Senate passed the bill in June and the House should act now to pass these needed reforms."

Additional information on OMB’s plan can be found here.