Government experts agree there is waste, duplication and fragmentation in federal acquisition spending. Lots of it. Rough estimates put the price tag for that waste in the billions, if not tens of billions, of dollars annually. The scale of the problem is reflected in a Government Accountability Office annual report that details scores of practices and programs that are considered among the most wasteful. For example, the most recent of those reports, released in April 2016, found that the Department of Defense could save more than $4 billion by better leveraging strategically sourced contracts for the biggest procurement categories.
Billions more could be saved, the report states, if agencies consolidated more federal data centers, better planned their cloud-based computing solutions, imposed stronger investment oversight of information technology operations and maintenance, and better managed their IT investment portfolios.
So what’s driving the problem? In two words: poor governance. Fragmented and stovepiped approaches to acquisition, resource planning and utilization, data tracking and reporting, compliance, and other management activities riddle agencies. As a result, agencies often lack cohesive governance structures and internal cross-communication. These foundations are necessary to ensure that officials make smart decisions and that they sync and align IT management and acquisition activities across the federal agency enterprise with organizational priorities for greatest efficiency and effectiveness.
To better explore the problem and what government agencies can do about it, GovLoop has partnered with Four Points Technology, an RSA Platinum Partner, and RSA, a leader in governance, risk management and compliance (GRC) solutions, to bring you this research brief.