The e-government bellwether– the United States- gives a discomfitig news. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which oversees federal information technology (IT) investments, and federal agencies “have identified approximately 227 IT projects—totaling at least $10.4 billion in expenditures for fiscal year 2008—as being poorly planned (on the Management Watch List), poorly performing (on the High Risk List with performance shortfalls), or both.* Federal IT spending in the U.S. is estimated at $65 billion in fiscal year 2008. The GAO states: “Until OMB makes further improvements in the identification and oversight of poorly planned and poorly performing IT projects, potentially billions in taxpayer dollars are at risk of being wasted.” (ibid.).

Powner, who made testimony before the Senate sub-committee, noted: “…..OMB also uses the e-Gov Scorecard as a mechanism for managing federal IT projects. Quarterly e-Gov Scorecards are reports that use a red/yellow/green scoring system to illustrate the results of OMB’s evaluation of agencies’ implementation of e-government criteria in the President’s Management Agenda……Key criteria used to score agencies e-government process include acceptable business cases, cost and schedule performance; and security accreditation. As of June 30, 2006, 21 of the 26 departments/major agencies were identified as having a yellow (mixed results) or red (unsatisfactory) score.” (ibid.). Is then “mixed or unsatisfactory” result emerging as a norm in e-government project formulation and implementation? If so, then this norm is required to be broken. The e-government challenge before us is: How to Improve E-government Project Formulation and Implementation?

Dr D.C.Misra

October 6, 2007 

_______________________________________________________________________________*GAO *GAO (Government Accountability Office), United States (2007): Information Technology: Further Improvements Needed to Identify and Oversee Poorly Planned and Performing Projects, Washington, D.C., the Author, September 20, Testimony before the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate, http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d071211t.pdf  (accessed: October 6, 2007).

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