How effective are e-government projects?

Thursday - 9/29/2011, 10:00am EDT

Valerie Melvin, director of information management and human capital issues, GAO

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Some federal agencies are wasting the money they spend on e-government.

The Government Accountability Office reviewed the $34 million spent by the Office of Management and Budget and the General Services Administration and the 16 projects — everything from federal cloud computing efforts to data center consolidation.

Valerie Melvin, GAO's director of information management and human capital issues, joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris to discuss the watchdog agency's latest report.

In particular, GAO turned its gaze on four key projects — FedRAMP, Citizen Services Dashboard, FedSpace and Data.gov — and found varying progress.

At the time of the review cloud security initiatives were still being developed; the Citizen Services Dashboard, measuring progress on federal customer-service metrics, was in a pilot stage; FedSpace, which provides Web-based networking and collaboration, was in "limited deployment"; while Data.gov, a federal spending database, had been "fully launched," GAO said.

However, other projects lacked "fully defined metrics," limiting the ability of managers to assess whether they are actually useful, "particularly important in a resource-constrained environment," when managers are counting every penny spent.