GAO: Agencies Need to Pull CIOs Into Acquisition Reviews

Federal agencies need to involve their CIOs in reviewing billions of dollars worth of acquisitions, according to a GAO report.

Under the Federal Information Technology Reform Act passed in 2014, agencies should be identifying IT contracts for chief information officers to review and approve. The report found that most of the 22 agencies studied, including the departments of State and Justice, were failing to properly identify their IT contracts, and eight of the agencies failed to identify up to 40 percent of such contracts.

Government Accountability Office investigators uncovered 31,493 IT contracts totaling $4.5 billion that were not properly identified. The majority of the agencies that did not properly identify the contracts also failed to follow OMB’s advice to involve the acquisition office in their process to identify IT contracts for the CIO to review, and some agencies also failed to offer guidance to officials to recognize IT.

The GAO report made 39 recommendations, including ensuring that acquisition offices are involved in identifying IT and reviewing IT acquisitions according to OMB guidance.

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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