A $350 million AT&T agreement and a $203,000 Verizon deal are among the older IT contracts the Obama administration is reviewing as it looks to trim costs.
AT&T's $350 million
contract to improve communications at the Treasury Department is reportedly
among more than two dozen older government IT deals that the Obama
administration is reviewing as it looks to trim costs and pare down the budget
According to an Aug. 23
report in the Wall Street Journal
, the White House, guided by federal
agencies, has identified 26 government IT projects for review, and those not
meeting their stated goals will be trimmed back or cut. The projects currently
come at a total cost to the government of $30 billion. Among them are the
AT&T contract-begun in September 2007 and intended to be completed in late
September 2016-and a $203,000 contract with Verizon Business Network Services
that was launched in April 2009 and has an expected completion date of Sept.
Former White House Budget
Director Peter Orszag, before leaving office last month, reportedly
ordered a review of the contracts,
suggesting that a lack of oversight had led to instances of "cost overruns,
delays and the implementation of obsolete systems," WSJ
"We need to end a culture
in Washington where we continue to throw good
money after bad money," Vivek Kundra, Obama's CIO, said during a call with
reporters, according to WSJ.
these projects can't be turned around, if they don't add value, we will take
the appropriate actions."
On an official U.S.
government Website detailing IT spending, called IT Dashboard
the AT&T contract appears to be both the highest-dollar and longest-term
technology project. The dashboard offers the public a look at IT spending,
relaying data received by the Office of Management and Budget, as well as
"general information on over 7,000 federal IT investments" and detailed
data for nearly 800 of those investments that agencies classify as
"major," states the site.
As for the fresh look at
older IT commitments, Roger Kay, an analyst with Endpoint Technologies
Associates, was skeptical about the effectiveness of such an undertaking.
projects sometimes do some good, but they're almost always pork-lined," Kay
. "The problem is the
politics that go into getting the projects through in the first place. The
process is inherently corrupt, and everyone is potentially implicated. So,
no one can clean it up."