Government // Leadership
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7/15/2010
02:22 PM
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Federal IT Dashboard Goes Mobile

White House CIO Vivek Kundra credited the government transparency site for getting wayward IT projects back on track.




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The federal government has added a mobile component to a key transparency Web site that provides people with the details of federal IT investments.

People now can receive updates to the Federal IT Dashboard -- a new version of which went live Thursday -- on mobile devices, according to a blog post by White House CIO Vivek Kundra.

The site also has been updated with a cleaner, more streamlined look and feel, improved navigation, and more detailed and easier-to-find information, according to Kundra.

The government launched the IT Dashboard in June 2009 with the goal of giving people a view into federal IT investments. The site allows people to monitor $80 billion of IT investments across various agencies.

The government created the dashboard as a result of criticism about numerous federal IT projects that were over budget and behind schedule. It's also part of the Open Government Directive that President Barack Obama has mandated to provide more transparency into federal agency activities.

The federal government so far has made some progress to cut waste out of its IT budget, but still has work to do, according to various reports by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

In his post, Kundra noted how the dashboard has helped the the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) get wayward IT projects back on track. He said the OMB has used information discovered through the dashboard in its TechStat Accountability Sessions, which review projects that are overdue and over budget with the people responsible for them.

Since January, the government has held 30 sessions, and has had some success reducing the cost of IT projects because of them, he said. For example, Kudra noted that in one session, the Small Business Administration figured out how to reduce the cost of issuing personal identity verification cards to its employees from $1,641 per card to $240.

Despite Kundra's optimism about how the federal government has been able to use the dashboard, some have questioned whether the site accurately reflects to the American public what is going on inside of federal IT projects.

A GAO spokeswoman said the agency on Friday plans to issue a report about how the OMB has been using the IT dashboard to Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Tom Carper (D-Del.), who have requested it. They have 30 days to make it public if they so choose. The GAO will post the report on its website Aug. 16.

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