IT & Networks

GAO: 4 agencies lead data center consolidation; rest need to catch up

Four government agencies have accounted for a disproportionate amount of the cost savings from a strategic plan to consolidate and optimize data centers.

The Departments of Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security and Treasury accounted for approximately $2.0 billion (or 87 percent) of the $2.3 billion achieved since 2012 by 18 of the 24 agencies involved in the Office of Management and Budget’s Data Center Optimization Initiative, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office.

In a similarly skewed statistic, The Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Interior and Treasury accounted for 84 percent of the 4,388 completed closures. 

Conversely, the remainder of the participating agencies reported less in planned cost savings and avoidances in their annual DCOI strategic plans or didn’t submit a complete strategic plan at all. 

The end result of these inconsistencies is that savings estimated in fiscal years 2016 to 2018 amount to only $656.28 million of $4 billion in planned savings reported in November 2015 (a $3.3 billion difference). 

GAO identified weaknesses in OMB’s oversight of agencies’ savings information and strategic plans as a major cause for discrepancies, and recommended OMB improve.  

The report’s recommendations also include many of the agencies’ completing and reinforcing their strategic plans and reporting mechanisms to achieve data center cost savings consistency. 

Twelve agencies agreed, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Housing and Urban Development disagreed, and 11 did not state whether they agreed or disagreed.

The entire report can be downloaded on GAO.gov

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