Sen. Carper Statement on Administration’s Plan to Close Duplicative Federal Data Centers

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services and International Security, released the following statement reacting to the Obama Administration’s announcement that it plans to close 137 of the 2,094 federal data centers by the end of the year, in a move to transform the way the federal government uses information technology to save money and deliver better service:

“Today’s announcement is welcome news and shows that this Administration is serious about getting better results for less money. We need to cut what we can’t afford across the federal government while, at the same time, deploying cost-effective new technologies that can improve service and save money over time. The past mismanagement of our nation’s $80 billion annual federal information technology budget, then, is not only intolerable – it’s unsustainable. I am encouraged to see that the Administration is moving forward with its goal to eliminate some of the wasteful spending in information technology by implementing the Government Accountability Office’s recent recommendation to target duplicative and overlapping federal data centers.

“A few weeks ago, my subcommittee held a hearing on this very topic. We heard encouraging testimony from the federal government’s Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra on the Administration’s progress towards its goals in a number of areas related to improving information technology management. My subcommittee will continue to closely monitor the Administration’s progress on its ambitious plans and demand that they be achieved in a timely manner.

“Moreover, legislation I recently introduced with Senators Scott Brown, Lieberman, and Collins, calls for greater transparency when it comes to the cost and performance of our nation’s information technology investments so that the American taxpayer can see how their money is being spent. That legislation, the Information Technology Investment Management Act of 2011, also demands that agencies and the Office of Management and Budget be held accountable for a project’s failure and work either to fix them or end them.

“It is clear that the time for lazy, wasteful management of these expensive investments is over and government must end the pattern of throwing good money after bad.”