EPA must improve how it tracks IT — IG

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The Environmental Protection Agency must do a better job recording how it invests in technology, according to an analysis from the agency’s inspector general.

“The EPA management of its $334 million in IT investments is noncompliant with its current policy,” according to the summary of the report, released Tuesday. “Thus, the EPA is at risk of not managing taxpayer dollars properly.”

During the investigation, the IG found a $15 million IT investment that was not listed in its systems inventory, called READ — short for the Registry of EPA Applications, Models and Databases. However, that investment was being managed under a separate process called CPIC, or capital planning and investment control, which the Office of Management and Budget requires agencies to set for tracking their IT spending.

The report recommends the agency require that all IT investments managed through CPIC be recorded in READ, “provided the investment meets inclusion criteria.”

“They need to be clear and make a decision on what needs be in [READ] as it relates to CPIC investment,” Gloria Taylor-Upshaw, the project manager for the audit, told FedScoop. The IG also released a separate report earlier this week that READ was lacking a complete inventory of contractor IT systems.

The first report also said the agency needs to update its CPIC policy to include guidance for its medium and so-called “lite” investments.

“By not having an updated policy to reflect the current CPIC processes and practices related to Medium and Lite investments, the EPA increases the risk that these investments are not considered in its analysis and review of investments reported to the Office of Management and Budget,” the report said.

An EPA official said on background that the chief information officer would likely use information from the CPIC process and READ to help track spending under the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act, the sweeping legislation that gives department-level CIOs greater authority over IT budgets.

In the report, EPA agreed with and planned to execute the IG’s recommendations.

Correction: Sept. 25, 2015

An earlier version of this article misstated the status of a $15 million investment as included in EPA’s READ system. The agency decided it should be excluded.

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Agencies, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
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