The chairman of a Senate financial management subcommittee says agency officials need to do more specific planning to close their data centers, or the government will miss out on billions of dollars in potential savings.
“Agencies must do a better job of complying with requirements and submit critical aspects of their plans for consolidation. If not, we run the risk of not achieving the full potential savings,” said Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s Federal Financial Management Subcommittee.
The Government Accountability Office reported July 19 that only three of 24 agencies it reviewed submitted complete inventories of their data centers.
“As the saying goes, ‘if you’re not planning, you’re planning to fail,’ which is why it is imperative that all federal agencies not only plan for data consolidation efforts but submit completed and well thought out plans,” Carper said. Without those plans, he said, the government can’t realize its progress in the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative.
GAO also found critical aspects of the consolidation plans blank. Nine of 24 agencies completed a master program schedule and only five agencies provided a cost-benefit analysis.
However, GAO said the 24 agencies need to quickly complete their consolidation inventories and plans to move the initiative ahead, if the government wants those savings.
“Data centers have been bleeding energy and money throughout the federal government and are a perfect example of inefficient IT spending,” Carper said. “But while the government is making progress on closing unnecessary data centers, there’s clearly more work to do.”
Carper also warned that Capitol Hill is watching how the initiative goes forward.
“Those of us in Congress will be paying close attention to how closely agencies comply and stick to their consolidation plans,” he said.
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