The Obama administration has set up an online tool to track government spending on information-technology projects. The tool, hosted on the existing usaspending.gov Web site, was officially launched at the Personal Democracy Forum '09 on Tuesday by U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra.
Kundra announced the beta release of IT Dashboard, which allows users to track the more than $70 billion being spent on IT. The move is part of President Obama's effort to hold the government accountable for its spending and offer more transparency.
The tool allows users to view the total spending on IT, including software, computer hardware, and services by agency. Users can get information on hundreds of technology contracts and projects, including how much is being spent, which government official is responsible, and the names of suppliers.
The data comes from agency reports to the Office of Management and Budget and information on more than 7,000 federal IT investments. Agencies categorize 800 of those investments as major.
Getting To Green
The usaspending.gov site, a re-launch of the fedspending.gov Web site, provides information about federal contracts and financial assistance such as grants, loans, insurance and subsidies. IT Dashboard will become a springboard to provide information on other forms of government spending, according to Kundra.
The dashboard reports the overall performance of every major investment in the IT portfolio in terms of cost performance, schedule performance and valuation by agency CIO, and the overall score computed from those factors.
Scores are rated with red, yellow and green slices. Investments in green are in the normal range, yellow needs some attention, and investments in red have significant problems.
The Department of Defense has the most money committed with contractors, including Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon, with a total of $33.02 billion in all investments and $9.6 billion in 62 major investments.
Eighteen percent of those contracts have significant schedule concerns, 11 percent need attention and 71 percent are on target, according to the IT Dashboard charts.
More To Come
More than 400 federal employees from 30 different agencies took a test run of the online tool over the course of three weeks, and in the next several months developers will begin adding new features, including more analytics, data feeds, and options to provide feedback.
Over time, more data will be added to the Web site, including evaluations of all major investments where agency CIOs will continue to rank their investments. More detailed contracts data will also be added to link investment data to awarded contracts.
Additional features for filtering and aggregating data will be added, as well as additional chart-customization features. Users will also soon be able to create their own portfolio of investments to watch and subscribe to updates.