DHS, VA have riskiest IT investments, projects

The departments of Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs, respectively, have the most investments and projects on the Office of Management and Budget's management watch list and high-risk watch list.

OMB, which posted the lists publicly for the first time late last evening, is using the lists to make sure senior management pay close attention to high-risk investments and projects.

The management watch list is drawn from agency business cases and focus on overall investments. The high-risk list focuses on specific projects. There could be several projects in an investment, and some or all would make the high-risk list.

DHS has 50 investments on the management watch list. Some of them, such as the Homeland Security Information Network and the Transportation Security Administration's operating environment, are going poorly, while others such as Safecom, Disaster Management and the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology system are going well.

VA has 33 investments on the high-risk list, including their HealtheVet Vista modernization patient records program and their financial-management system.

Overall, the management list has 86 investments worth almost $4.5 billion from six agencies, while the high-risk list has 216 projects from 26 agencies.

DHS also has 16 projects on the high-risk list, as does NASA. The Small Business Administration is second behind VA with 22 projects, while the Office of Personnel Management has 15 projects, and the Transportation Department has 13.

Karen Evans, OMB administrator for e-government and IT, said yesterday that every e-government project and Line of Business Consolidation initiative also are on the high-risk list, not because they are not going well, but because they have a lot of risk involved.

'If an agency has a project on the high-risk list, the agency is not failing,' she said. 'Things happen in a project that you have make sure senior leadership is aware of. These are complex projects that have a huge ripple effect across government. They are high-risk but well-managed projects.'

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