WASHINGTON – Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., issued a statement in response to an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) report released late today listing more than 950 government information technology projects on a “high-risk” watch list for costly budget overruns.
Sen. Carper has held several oversight hearings on this issue as chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services and International Security and plans on holding another this summer.
Sen. Carper said:
“I am deeply troubled that we see hundreds of agency IT projects that the Administration itself admits are poorly planned and under-performing continue to receive federal dollars. It is simply unacceptable that some federal agencies have half, if not all, of their IT investments listed by OMB as being at risk of budget overruns. Even more disturbing, some agencies don’t have a qualified person on staff with the skills and background necessary to make things right.
“Yet billions of taxpayer dollars still flow to these projects that are increasingly at risk of being above cost and behind schedule.
“When I was Governor of Delaware, we often looked to IT innovations to improve efficiency and enhance constituent services, so I know how difficult it can be for an agency manager who has invested significant time and resources in a project to objectively pull the plug or go back to the drawing board.
“But, with the publication of this newest OMB report, it is important that agencies work with Congress to take an honest look at their troubled IT projects to determine which ones are truly worthy of the precious taxpayer dollars they receive.
“I am considering proposing legislation that will prevent money from continually pouring into IT projects that just don’t work. We owe it to the American people to get this right.”