DOT center will freeze new ITOP programs

DOT center will freeze new ITOP programs

The Transportation Administrative Service Center is not seeking an extension from the Office of Management and Budget to run a governmentwide IT services program, after a critical audit by the Transportation Department's inspector general.

The center will continue to run ongoing projects under the IT Omnibus Procurement program without taking on any new ones, an OMB official said. The center's designation as the ITOP executive agent expired Monday.

Transportation's IG recently reported that ITOP, which the center has run since 1995, was losing money. Through the program, agencies, including state and local governments, can buy IT services from 36 contractors.

OMB, which has the authority over governmentwide IT contracts, requires the center to charge fees to cover its expenses. But the IG team found that the center's fees did not generate enough revenue to cover expenses. The center reported a loss of $2.1 million on ITOP for the five years that ended Sept. 30, 2001.

The report also said ITOP has not streamlined the procurement of IT services.

The IG cited a failure in oversight by DOT management. 'We found no departmental oversight to ensure adequate competition before awarding work,' the audit said.

A senior Transportation official said department officials are reviewing the center's management structure.

In its report, the IG made three recommendations:

  • The DOT center should not seek further extensions of its ITOP authority from OMB until fees cover expenses.

  • The center should suspend ITOP expansion and stop subsidizing customers' use of the program.

  • Transportation's CIO and senior procurement executive should increase departmental oversight.

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