Commission on Government Technology Opportunity in the 21st Century Releases Action Plan for Improving Federal IT
Last updated: October 25, 2010 - 3:07pm
TechAmerica Foundation's Commission on Government Technology Opportunity in the 21st Century (GTO-21) recommended a 33-step action plan to the Obama Administration for improving federal Information Technology (IT) acquisitions and management.
The Commission convened following an announcement by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that it will focus on ways to improve federal technology acquisition and management processes after the Administration froze many large-scale federal technology implementations. Commissioners identified concrete, achievable steps toward achieving the following widely supported but elusive goals for improving the way government buys and manages IT implications: Developing a professional program management capability; promoting agile, incremental development; strengthening risk management and enhancing internal and external engagement. Commissioners placed particular emphasis on improving engagement, collaboration, and communication between government and industry, a need cited by 78 percent of the government-experienced IT leaders the body interviewed. The panel therefore asked OMB to endorse the value of communication with industry in a memo to senior personnel across the government. Similarly, acquisitions professionals in government need to do a better job communicating with their own users about whether the systems acquired meet the agency's needs, the Commission said.
The panel also called upon the government to establish an independent risk review role for major acquisitions to help reduce chances of failure. To improve government program management, recommendations included creating a formal IT program management career track and establishing a program management leadership academy. Commissioners also suggested making large acquisitions more agile and incremental by, among other things, establishing a common methodological framework, sharing best practices, and developing an agile-ready workforce.
The commission comprises 31 senior leaders from industry and academia with many years of IT and federal acquisition experience. Recommendations were based on their experience, a comprehensive review of prior work to the subject and interviews with more than 100 government technology leaders and industry executives focused on both public and commercial sectors.
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