Senators question Treasury IT Dashboard ratings

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The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is concerned with the accuracy of IT Dashboard ratings, drawing attention to a handful of Treasury Department IT projects that are worse off than the website claims.

Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Tom Carper, D-Del., penned a letter to Treasury Chief Information Officer Sonny Bhagowalia this week addressing seven IT projects the IRS — a component agency of Treasury — invested in in 2014.

In a fourth quarter fiscal year 2014 meeting with the Government Accountability Office, the committee letter says, IRS CTO Terry Millholland reported three of the projects as “red,” indicating “an imminent threat,” or “yellow,” with risks not related to the core mission, in terms of cost, duration and overall performance.

But as the letter says: “Despite the significant risks identified by the IRS CTO for these seven major IT projects, the IT Dashboard indicated that each of these projects were ‘green’ (i.e., ‘low risk’ or ‘moderately low risk’) for the entirety of FY 2014.”

Moreover, the senators found that none of Treasury’s “roughly 60 major IT projects are ‘high risk’ or even ‘moderately high risk.'”

Treasury did not respond to FedScoop’s request for comment by publication.

Johnson and Carper ask in the letter that Bhagowalia explain the discrepancy, how he uses the information from component-level CTOs and CIOs in generating dashboard ratings and why none of the 60 projects were yellow or red when allegedly some should’ve been.

The letter suggests that this could also be the initial prod into a deeper problem with the IT Dashboard, making an example of the Treasury.

“The value of the IT Dashboard to taxpayers is dependent upon the accuracy and timeliness of the risk information it displays,” Johnson and Carper wrote. “Inaccurate or dated information prevents the public from understanding how their tax dollars are being used and inhibits Congress’ ability to track the progress of IT projects over time. As such, we are concerned that a number of agencies appear to be reporting questionable risk ratings for the respective IT projects.”

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Congress, Departments, Government Accountability Office (GAO), Government IT News, Internal Revenue Service, IT Dashboard, oversight, Regulations & Oversight, Senate, Treasury Department
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