Former FOIA officer worries new bill poses IT challenges
February 27, 2015
The legislation could make it difficult for agencies to adhere to the Americans with Disabilities Act, said Frederick Sadler, a former FOIA Officer for the FDA.
David Stegon was a staff reporter for FedScoop and StateScoop from 2011-2014.
The PortfolioStat review process will save the government $2.5 billion over the next three years through consolidating duplicative systems, buying in bulk and ending or streamlining off-track projects, said Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Jeff Zients.
In an OMB blog post, Zients said this number comes in addition to the $4 billion saved through the TechStat review process – all part of the Obama administration’s push to help the government be as efficient and effective as possible.
“Today’s announcement is a critical next step on our aggressive path to deliver taxpayers the best bang for their buck, while putting an end to the kind of inefficiencies that plagued Federal IT during past Administrations,” Zients said. “Moving forward, we will be holding PortfolioStat sessions, not only to push agencies to execute on their plans in a timely manner, but also to identify additional areas of savings.”
He continued, “It’s a sustained commitment to this kind of accountability on behalf of the American people that has driven and will continue to power the Administration’s imperative to innovate with less.“
Under PortfolioStat, agencies have collected and analyzed baseline data on 13 specific types of commodity IT investments, spanning infrastructure, business systems and enterprise IT.
OMB worked with agencies to review their data and compare spending to other agencies and private sector benchmarks in order to assess the agency’s current state and develop a list of opportunities to reduce inefficiency, duplication and unnecessary spending.
Based on this analysis, agencies drafted PortfolioStat plans, which were then reviewed in deputy-secretary-led PortfolioStat sessions with U.S. Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel.
Agencies identified 98 opportunities to consolidate or eliminate commodity IT areas, ranging from the consolidation of multiple email systems across an agency to the reduction of duplicative mobile or desktop contracts.
Zients pointed to a number of success stories:
- Department of Homeland Security which will save $376 million over the next three years on their IT infrastructure, including mainframe and server products, by leveraging the bulk buying power of the entire department.
- The Social Security Administration (SSA) is implementing an enterprise-wide purchasing program and they are leveraging their buying power to save $59 million – more than $760 for every computer.
- And the Department of Treasury will consolidate key financial management systems, which will save $90.3 million. By implementing a central hub for all vendor payment data for Federal agencies and their vendors, Treasury is cutting out inefficiencies for agencies and companies small and large that do business with the Federal government.