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GAO: IT Dashboard better, still has problems

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Information on the Office of Management and Budget's online dashboard of federal agency performance in implementing information technology systems is not as inaccurate as it once was says the Government Accountability Office.

In a report dated Nov. 7 that wasn't posted online until Dec. 7, GAO auditors reviewed eight major investments undergoing development together worth about $486 million of fiscal 2011 spending.

The result is that most cost and schedule ratings were accurate, the report says, "but did not provide sufficient emphasis on recent performance to inform oversight and decision making." Incomplete data continued to remain a problem, albeit at a lesser rate than in previous GAO reviews of the IT Dashboard's accuracy.

The problem of dashboard information not highlighting current performance goes back to the stated purpose of the dashboard, that of providing a rear-real-time perspective on major IT system implementation.

Information about performance during the most recent 6 months is a reliable indicator of current performance, the report says, but the information on the dashboard reflects "a more cumulative view of investment performance dating back to the inception on the investment."

While such a historical perspective may be important, that information isn't necessarily the basis for near-term budget or programmatic decision, the report adds.

For more:
- download the report, GAO-12-210 (.pdf)

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