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GAO: Agencies Report Mixed Progress Toward Achieving Data Center Goals

The 24 agencies participating in the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI) reported mixed progress toward achieving OMB’s goals for closing data centers by September 2018.

Over half of the agencies reported that they had either already met, or planned to meet, all of their OMB-assigned goals by the deadline, which would result in the closure of 7,221 of the 12,062 centers that agencies reported in August 2017. However, four agencies reported that they do not have plans to meet all of their assigned goals and two agencies are working with OMB to establish revised targets.

Twenty agencies reported, as of August 2017, that they had achieved $1.04 billion in cost savings for fiscal years 2016 and 2017. In addition, the agencies’ DCOI strategic plans identify an additional $0.58 billion in planned savings — for a total of $1.62 billion for fiscal years 2016 through 2018. This total is approximately $1.12 billion less than OMB’s DCOI savings goal of $2.7 billion.

The 24 agencies reported limited progress against OMB’s five data center optimization targets for server utilization and automated monitoring, energy metering, power usage effectiveness, facility utilization, and virtualization. By August 2017, one agency had met four targets, one agency had met three targets, six agencies had met either one or two targets, and 14 agencies reported meeting none of the targets. Most agencies said they were not planning to meet OMB’s fiscal year 2018 optimization targets last August. Four agencies reported plans to meet all of their applicable targets by the end of fiscal year 2018; 14 reported plans to meet some of the targets; and four reported that they do not plan to meet any targets.

In 2016 and 2017, GAO made a number of recommendations to OMB and the 24 DCOI agencies to help improve the reporting of data center-related cost savings and to achieve optimization targets. As of March 2018, 74 of these 81 recommendations had not been fully addressed.

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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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