Savings so far from federal data center consolidation are difficult to estimate for their lack of reporting, but are "believed to be minimal" as of last November--nearly 3 years after the Office of Management and Budget launched an initiative to reduce the number of federal data centers by 40 percent--says the GAO.
Consolidating online services and integrating information technology sytems not only cut costs, but also made the Interior Department more efficient, Interior Chief Financial Officier Rhea Suh said May 13 at the Excellence in Government conference in Washington, D.C.
The Defense Department's fiscal 2014 budget proposal includes $39.6 billion for information technology, shows an overview from the departmental office of the chief information officer released earlier this month.
Budget is the top concern among federal chief information officers in an annual survey from TechAmerica and Grant Thorton, published May 2. Based on interviews with 41 federal CIOs, report authors say federal information technology leaders are concerned about budget constraints caused by the continuing resolution and sequestration, and inadequate budget authorities that impact how much control they have over IT programs.
The fiscal 2014 budget proposal the Obama administration sent to Congress on April 10 carries mixed results for major Homeland Security Department information technology efforts. Total funding for the DHS office of the chief information officer would go down by 1.2 percent when taking into account Office of Management and Budget-projected inflation.
Under President Obama's fiscal 2014 budget request, NOAA would receive a total budget authority of $3.4 billion, or 1.47 percent more than funding under the current year's continuing resolution.
President Obama's nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget stressed the need to reduce the deficit and increase efficiency during her April 9 confirmation hearing with the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.Sylvia Mathew Burwell, who currently heads up the Walmart Foundation and was previously president of Global Development Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, garnered promises of support from Senators of both sides of the aisle.
New guidance, in the form of a memo (.pdf) signed by OMB Director Jeff Zients and Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel, combines PortfolioStat and the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative into a single, streamlined reporting mechanism. As part of this approach, FDCCI success won't be measured by closures, says the memo.
The Joint Information Environment is not an attempt by the Defense Information Systems Agency to take over all the Defense Department's data centers, said Tony Montemarano, DISA director of strategic planning and information. The JIE is "not about DISA controlling the world, DISA über alles," he said. "The military departments have got formidable capabilities...it makes no sense to turn them off." He spoke March 25 at ACT-IAC event in downtown Washington, D.C.
As the Homeland Security Department adopts an incremental approach toward information technology project development, it should also improve its outcome reporting, said David Powner, director of information technology management issues at the Government Accountability Office.