As it does every two years at the start of a new Congress, the Government Accountability Office will release its “High Risk List” today. The list calls attention to agencies and programs GAO auditors believe are vulnerable to “fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement.” Don Kettl, a professor at the University of Maryland’s School for Public Policy, joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with more on the guide, and what’s different from the 2013 version.
Two new entries join this year’s High-Risk List from the Government Accountability Office. Nextgov reports the GAO includes IT acquisition and veterans health care in its biennial risk assessment. Keith Trippie is CEO of Trippie Group, and former executive director of the Enterprise System Development Office in the CIO Office of the Homeland Security Department. On In Depth with Francis Rose, he described the challenges agencies face to get off the list.
GAO adds two new areas to the list, NOAA’s satellite programs and the federal government’s financial risk because of climate change. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro said nearly every initiative on the list made progress in fixing their problems over the last two years.
A total of 30 programs, once again, are considered troubled, including two new areas. But, the Government Accountability Office removed the IRS’ Business Systems Modernization program after 18 years on the list, and interagency contracting after 8 years.
Cyber criminals might unknowingly provide the impetus to help agencies address a cybersecurity skills gap. OPM also is working with agencies to address other shortfalls in key workforce competencies.
GSA’s System for Award Management is finding its footing after a rough start. OFPP Administrator Joe Jordan said he’s watching the systems’ progress carefully.
GAO finds the Pentagon isn’t moving fast enough in improving the skills of their workforce. House lawmakers focused in the acquisition workforce, specifically. DoD defended its efforts, pointing to the 8,600 new acquisition workers hired over the past few years.
Management leaders in the Defense Department said a dogged and determined end-to-end examination of the government’s complex security clearance processes got that topic off of GAO’s high risk list this year. That approach is coming to the rest of DoD’s back office operations.
IT management challenges continue at the VA and the Government Accountability Office’s recommendations might keep your agency off the high-risk list. Joel Willemssen is the Managing Director for Information Technology Issues at the GAO.
The Homeland Security Department’s chief management officer said Tuesday that the lack of a departmentwide financial management system is a huge deficiency. Fixing that, he said, is among the department’s primary management priorities.