WASHINGTON—U.S. Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Fred Thompson (R-TN) today released a report showing that federal agencies are not fully complying with the Clinger-Cohen Act, a 1996 information technology management law. The Committee played a large role in the passage of the Act which requires agencies to make sound investment decisions before buying information technology systems. The Clinger-Cohen Act was the result of the Committee?s reviews of failed computer system acquisitions such as the IRS?s $7 billion Tax Systems Modernization project and the National Weather Service?s nearly $500 million Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System.
“The report released today reveals what we feared the most ? that the Administration is not enforcing the laws that Congress passed over four years ago,” Chairman Thompson said. “The next President will be faced with many management challenges, including this one, so I hope this is the wake-up call that?s needed. The next Administration must focus on managing government information technology systems, so we can help agencies meet their goals and improve taxpayer services.”
The report shows that 16 agencies neither developed nor submitted IT management reports that included accomplishments, progress, and identification of areas requiring attention. One quarter of agencies listed projects that deviated significantly from cost or schedule goals. According to the report, agencies are not using sound business procedures before investing in information technology, so they are unable to improve program performance and meet their mission goals.
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