A Slice of the Federal Government IT Pie
Being a technology geek as well as someone interested in our Government, I was intrigued when I came across the Federal IT Dashboard website recently.
The official description of the Federal IT dashboard is:
The IT Dashboard provides the public with an online window into the details of Federal information technology investments and provides users with the ability to track the progress of investments over time. The IT Dashboard displays data received from agency reports to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), including general information on over 7,000 Federal IT investments and detailed data for nearly 800 of those investments that agencies classify as “major.” The performance data used to track the 800 major IT investments is based on milestone information displayed in agency reports to OMB called “Exhibit 300s.” Agency CIOs are responsible for evaluating and updating select data on a monthly basis, which is accomplished through interfaces provided on the website.
A complete overview of the Federal IT Dashboard, you can check out this video:
For anyone that loves to play with graphs, you’ll get lost on this site for hours. Sometimes I had to remind myself that I was “playing” on a government website responsible for tracking Federal IT investments and projects.
Not only does the website offer the ability to look at an overview of all Federal IT investments and projects, it allows you to drill down by department as well. Another interesting feature of the site are the interactive trend graphs. Check out this video as an example.
Of course, one of the first questions that comes to mind is whether or not these tools are actually being used or if they were just created to look pretty. According to a July 17th blog post by Vivek Kundra, our Nation’s first Federal CIO, the Department of Vetern Affairs has halted 45 IT projects which were either behind schedule or over budget. The total budget for these projects during Fiscal Year 2009 is approximately $200 million. VA CIO Roger Baker credits the IT Dashboard with providing him the analysis needed to pinpoint these 45 IT projects.
It will be nice to see if other departments are able to use the available data in the same way that the Department of Vetern Affairs was able to. A tool such as this would be useful to implement across other Federal budget expenditures as well as being designed for State and local government to use as well. Understandably, this is a first step to hopefully more widespread implementation. But, in it’s short history of being launched, I’d say that halting $200 million in over budget or behind schedule projects is a great accomplishment.
Have you checked out the Federal IT Dashboard yet? What do you think about it?
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