Self-Contradictory Government IT Failure Report

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reports that the number of federal government high-risk IT projects has declined since the start of this year. This information is presented in two reports: the quarterly project High Risk List and the Management Watch List.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reports that the number of federal government high-risk IT projects has declined since the start of this year. This information is presented in two reports: the quarterly project High Risk List and the Management Watch List. These materials can be found here.

The current High Risk list includes 136 IT projects with a projected 2008 expenditure value of $8.6 billion. The range of projects is incredibly diverse, and includes:

  • APHIS - National Animal Identification System
  • Telephone Systems Replacement Project (TSRP)
  • eRulemaking
  • FAAXX013: Automated Weather Observation System/Automated Surface Observing System (ASWON)
  • SAP (FM LoB - Legacy System)
  • Oracle e-Business Suites: FM LoB Shared Service Provider
  • Automated Personal Property Management System (APPMS)

These lists fall into the category of investment management of IT projects. The Government Accountability Office recently came down hard on the Treasury Department because of poor IT investment oversight.

The press release notes that projects on the High Risk List require "special attention from the highest level of agency management, but aren't necessarily 'at risk' of failure." In my world, projects typically require special senior management attention when they are, in fact, at risk of failure.

Given this comment in the press release, one wonders what exactly the High Risk List describes, if not projects that are "at risk." If you know, please leave a comment!

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