Audit finds omissions in Pentagon's IT budget data

The Pentagon is under fire for failing to adequately show how it's spending its US$27.9 billion IT budget.

Four months after the U.S. General Accounting Office berated U.S. Department of Defense officials for sloppy accounting practices that led to a $1.6 billion discrepancy between two key IT budget reports, the Defense Department's own inspector general has released an audit report that accuses the department of failing to fully disclose to Congress and the Office of Management and Budget required IT expenditure data.

According to the audit report released late last week, 170 of the 198 Capital Investment Reports submitted to the OMB and 182 of the 197 Selected Capital Investment Reports submitted to Congress didn't include one or more required data elements. Among the data elements that often weren't addressed were business-case justifications, realistic cost and schedule goals and measurable performance benefits.

The result of these omissions, according to the report, is that the information reported to the OMB and Congress has been of limited value in helping to determine how much money the Pentagon should get for IT in future years. In addition, because of the lack of information, the OMB and Congress have been unable to determine if the department has been managing its IT programs in accordance with government regulations.

Cheryl Roby, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for resources, said in a statement that changes will be made immediately to ensure that the CIOs of the department's various component agencies report all of the required data to the Department of Defense CIO for forwarding to the OMB and Congress.

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