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Obama Administration Seeking Savings in $30 Billion of Technology Projects

Obama Administration Seeking Savings in $30 Billion of Technology Projects

23.August.2010, 20:34

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-23/obama-administration-targets-30-billion-in-technology-projects-for-cuts.html

Obama Administration Seeking Savings in $30 Billion of Technology Projects

Bloomberg, By Kate Andersen Brower - Aug 23, 2010 7:14 PM GMT+0300

The Obama administration plans to review 26 government information technology projects worth $30 billion as part of an effort to trim back contracts that aren’t meeting goals and to cut spending.

 

“We need to end a culture in Washington where we continue to throw good money after bad money,” Vivek Kundra, President Barack Obama’s chief information officer, said during a conference call with reporters. “If these projects can’t be turned around, if they don’t add value, we will take the appropriate actions. They may be discontinued.”

 

The contracts range in size from $64.5 million awarded by the Department of Commerce for an information system to $7.6 billion for a Department of Interior system.

 

Kundra said the White House worked with federal agencies to determine which projects should be included on the “high priority” list in an effort to make them more efficient.

 

He cited a Veteran’s Administration project that got under way in 1998 at a cost of $250 million, was halted in 2004, restarted in 2005 and stopped again “after spending millions of dollars.”

 

Kundra wouldn’t say when a decision would be made on projects that may be canceled.

 

Before leaving office, former White House budget director Peter Orszag ordered a review of the $80 billion the government spends annually on technology to determine whether lax oversight has led to cost overruns, delays and the implementation of obsolete systems.

 

The initiative is part of a larger effort by Obama to pare the budget deficit, which the White House projects to be a record $1.5 trillion this year, or about 10 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product. Obama already has ordered a three-year freeze in non-defense and national security programs in his budget released Feb. 1 and ordered some agencies to reduce their 2012 budget requests by 5 percent.

 

To contact the reporter on this story: Kate Andersen Brower in Martha’s Vineyard at 1973 or Kandersen7@bloomberg.net

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