Information Technology: OMB and Department of Homeland Security Investment Reviews Page: 2 of 31
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Accountability- Integrity- Reliability
Highlights of GAO-04-323, a report to the
Chairman, House Committee on
Government Reform and Chairman,
Subcommittee on Technology, Information
Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and
Why GAO Did This Study
In July 2002, the Office of
Management and Budget (OMB)
issued two memorandums directing
agencies expected to be part of the
Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) to temporarily cease funding
for new information technology (IT)
infrastructure and business systems
investments and submit information
to OMB on current or planned
investments in these areas (see
figure below for a timeline).
GAO was asked to (1) explain
OMB's implementation of these
memorandums, (2) identify any
resulting changes to applicable IT
investments, and (3) ascertain if
DHS has initiated its own
investment management reviews
and, if so, what the results of
these reviews have been.
GAO is making recommendations
to DHS to (1) report savings
resulting from its consolidation
and integration of systems and
(2) develop a schedule for
reviews of IT investments
subject to departmental oversight.
In commenting on a draft of the
report, OMB representatives
stated that they generally agreed
with our findings and DHS
officials stated that it was
To view the full product, including the scope
and methodology, click on the link above.
For more information, contact David Powner
at (202) 512-9286 or email@example.com.
OMB and Department of Homeland
Security Investment Reviews
What GAO Found
The July 2002 memorandums established an investment review group co-
chaired by OMB and the Office of Homeland Security to review submitted
investments and estimated that millions of dollars potentially could be saved
as a result of consolidating and integrating component agency investments.
The investment review group relied on an informal, undocumented process
to fulfill its responsibilities. Nevertheless, according to OMB and DHS IT
officials, the review group both reviewed five component agency
investments that were submitted and addressed long-term IT strategic issues
related to the transition to the new department.
OMB and DHS IT officials cited some changes to agency IT infrastructure
and business systems investments because of the July memorandums. In
addition, DHS IT officials cited other benefits that resulted from the
memorandums. However, it is not known whether, or the extent to which,
savings have resulted from the memorandums. In particular, OMB did not
track savings associated with the July memorandums because, according to
OMB IT staff, anticipated budgetary savings had not occurred at the time the
review group was in place. DHS's chief information officer stated that the
department plans to track savings related to the consolidation and
integration of systems and has established a mechanism for doing so.
However, until such savings are identified, tracked, and reported it will
remain unknown whether the July memorandums and the subsequent
establishment of DHS have achieved the potential economies identified by
Once DHS became operational and the investment review group no longer
existed, the department established its own IT investment management
process, which is still evolving. As part of this process, between May 2003
and late January 2004, the DHS's highest level investment management
board performed reviews of nine investments that had reached key decision
points. Even with this progress, the department has identified about 100 IT
programs that are eligible for review by its two top department-level boards.
However, DHS has not established a process to ensure that key reviews of
such IT investments are performed in a timely manner.
Timeline of Events Related to the OMB Memorandums and the Establishment of DHS
June 18, 2002 June 24, 2002 July 19, 2002 July 30, 2002 November 25, 2002 January 24, 2003 March 1, 2003
President proposes H.R. 5005 OMB issues OMB issues P.L. 107-296 signed DHS is established DHS becomes
to create DHS introduced memorandum memorandum by the President operational
to establish on IT on business (Homeland Security
DHS infrastructure systems Act of 2002)
June July August September October November December January February March
United States General Accounting Office
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United States. General Accounting Office. Information Technology: OMB and Department of Homeland Security Investment Reviews, report, February 10, 2004; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc299836/m1/2/: accessed May 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.