Carper Welcomes White House Initiative to Address Wasteful Information Technology Investments in Federal Government
Administration's Initiative Implements Many of the Reforms Called for in Pending Legislation Authored by Sens. Carper; Collins
WASHINGTON – Today Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, welcomed an initiative by the Obama Administration to reform the way agencies buy new technologies and to address several of the key problems which plague ongoing Information Technology (IT) projects and lead to billions of dollars in waste. Specifically the reform incorporates many of the same ideas championed by Sen. Carper, along with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), and were written into legislation known as the Information Technology Investment Oversight Enhancement and Waste Prevention Act of 2009 (S.920). The bill will make a number of the initiatives announced today permanent and build on efforts to improve the federal government’s IT efficiency and effectiveness. The legislation was passed last month by the U.S. Senate and awaits a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.
"The Administration’s announcement today demonstrates how serious it is about reducing wasteful and duplicative IT systems in the federal government," said Sen. Carper. "Information technology is critical to the government running efficiently, securing the borders, and keeping would-be terrorists at-bay. But it’s clear that agencies have dropped the ball and wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on projects that should have been canceled a long time ago. We can do better and frankly we must. My bill with Sen. Collins, the Information Technology Investment Oversight Enhancement and Waste Prevention Act of 2009, which was passed by the Senate last month, puts many of the Administration’s proposals outlined today into law and gives our government permanent tools to rein in the wasteful spending that is all too prevalent in information technology. Today’s announcement is a great first step, but our legislation is still needed. At a time when our country is facing record deficits it is simply unacceptable that federal agencies continue to waste billions of dollars by mismanaging information technology investments. The Administration clearly recognizes this issue and I am pleased to have them as an ally in this battle to curb wasteful government spending. I look forward to working with the Administration to ensure that this initiative and those in my legislation are quickly passed by the House of Representatives and signed into law."
According to today’s announcement, the Administration is implementing an extensive review of its guidelines to clean up IT procurement, speed up agencies’ abilities to purchase newer technology at a lower cost, and to assess whether several ongoing IT investments should be canceled. As part of this effort, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is issuing guidance that requires 24 of the largest agencies which spend a combined $80 billion a year to immediately stop new task orders or procurements for all financial system projects pending review and approval from OMB.