Information Technology: Census Bureau Needs to Implement Key Management Practices

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The U.S. Census Bureau (Census Bureau) has drafted a new investment management plan, system development methodology, and requirements development and management processes to improve its ability to manage information technology (IT) investments and system development, but additional work is needed to ensure these processes are effective and successfully implemented across the bureau. GAO and others have identified the importance of implementing critical processes within an agency to allow it to select, control, and evaluate its IT investments and effectively manage system development. The bureau has developed ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. September 18, 2012.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The U.S. Census Bureau (Census Bureau) has drafted a new investment management plan, system development methodology, and requirements development and management processes to improve its ability to manage information technology (IT) investments and system development, but additional work is needed to ensure these processes are effective and successfully implemented across the bureau. GAO and others have identified the importance of implementing critical processes within an agency to allow it to select, control, and evaluate its IT investments and effectively manage system development. The bureau has developed a new draft investment management plan which contains policies and guidance for managing IT projects; however, the plan does not explain when investments with cost or schedule variances should be escalated to higher-level boards for review, or when managers should provide updated investment information to a planned bureau-wide tracking tool. The bureau has also developed a new system development methodology guide, but the guide has critical gaps. For example, although there are five development process models allowed, including the traditional sequential approach and newer more iterative approaches, the guide does not explain how to adapt processes and related work products for newer iterative approaches. Furthermore, while the bureau has developed new draft requirements development and management processes for system development within individual bureau directorates, it has not established a consistent process bureau-wide as GAO recommended in 2005. Lack of a consistent bureau-wide process contributed to significant cost and performance issues in the 2010 Decennial Census. Although the bureau plans to begin operational development for the 2020 Decennial Census in fiscal year 2015, it has not finalized plans for implementing its new investment management and system development processes across the bureau. Until the bureau takes additional action to finalize and implement consistent, bureau-wide processes, it faces the risk that IT governance issues that adversely affected the 2010 Decennial Census will also impact the 2020 Decennial Census."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • September 18, 2012

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Information Technology: Census Bureau Needs to Implement Key Management Practices, report, September 18, 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc299276/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.