GAO: Duplicative IT programs total $1.2 billion

Thursday - 2/23/2012, 7:35pm EST

David Powner, director of information technology management issues, GAO

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With many agency budgets tightening, duplication in IT investments — buying the same thing twice, or even more — is an easy place to save money. The problem, the Government Accountability Office found in a recent report, is that many agencies don't know they're duplicating IT buys.

David Powner, the director of information technology management issues at GAO, joined In Depth with Francis Rose to discuss duplicative IT spending at three agencies in particular, the Defense, Energy and Homeland Security Departments.

In a sample of 810 IT investments — with a particular focus on human resources and supply-chain management — made by those departments, GAO found 37 potentially duplicative investments. All together the duplicated programs totaled about $1.2 billion.

GAO singled out DHS for taking action "to improve its processes for identifying and eliminating duplicative investments." Both DoD and Energy have also made efforts to address duplication, according to GAO. However, Energy took issue with the number of IT programs GAO classified as duplicative.

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