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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

OMB's pause of financial systems had little effect on cost, schedule

The Office of Management and Budget's decision to pause major agency financial management projects in 2010 didn't affect most of the programs' cost or timeline.

The Government Accountability Office reviewed the implementation of OMB's July 2010 memo and found 13 projects estimated no change in their long term costs, and 16 said their schedule remained the same.

The audit agency also said OMB approved 17 projects, partially approved six, shut down one and still is reviewing seven others. Of those approved or partially approved, OMB said 20 were considered low or moderate risk projects.

GAO found five agencies said the cost of their projects increased and four said their programs decreased because of OMB's reviews. Seven agencies were unsure of the effect of the pause.

Additionally, six agencies said the pause increased the time it would take to complete implementing the new system, while three said it decreased their time and four were unsure.

Auditors also reported another agency said OMB postponed its modernization efforts for three of its components, and this action increased the cost of achieving unified modernization across the agency and requires additional investments to maintain existing legacy systems for a longer period of time.

GAO also said OMB needs to finalize the revision of A-127. The White House issued a draft revision to agencies in October 2010, but as of October 2011, it did not say when the updated circular would be completed.

- Jason Miller, FederalNewsRadio.com

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