Editorial: Time To Fix IT Procurement

Staff Writer | Federal Times | December 1, 2013

Federal chief information officer Steven VanRoekel called the bungled rollout of Healthcare.gov a “teachable moment.” Unfortunately, it is just the latest in a long string of teachable moments concerning federal information technology projects.

Better would be that the disastrous Healthcare.gov rollout become a rallying moment — for lawmakers and policymakers to make long-needed fixes to federal IT procurement.

The Government Accountability Office has issued numerous reports in recent years highlighting billions of dollars in wasted IT investments. “Too often,” the GAO said in a report last month, “federal IT projects run over budget, behind schedule, or fail to deliver promised functionality.” Federal agencies spent more than $600 billion on IT over the past decade, only to achieve “little of the productivity improvements that private industry has realized from IT,” the report said.