Memorandum Report on HUD's Processes used to Report Information Technology Investments on IT Dashboard

Published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General on 2015-04-29.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                                             U.S. DEPARTMENT OF
                             HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
                                     OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL

                                              April 29, 2015

TO:           Rafael Diaz, Chief Information Officer, CIO

FROM:         Kathryn Saylor, Assistant Inspector General for Evaluation, GAH

SUBJECT:      Memorandum Report on HUD’s Processes Used to Report Information Technology
              Investments on IT Dashboard (Project #2014-OE-0007)


The Office of Inspector General (OIG) Office of Evaluation performed preliminary research on the
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of the Chief Information
Officer’s (OCIO) management of the agency’s process for reporting financial and project
information on the Federal IT Dashboard. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) launched
the Dashboard as a public Web site that reports financial information, risks, and investment
performance for Federal agency major information technology (IT) investments. The objective of
the evaluation was to determine whether OCIO processes ensured that accurate IT investment
information was reported on the Dashboard. OCIO had used manual processes to enter IT
investment information into the electronic Capital Planning and Investment Control (eCPIC)
program which was uploaded to the Dashboard. The use of manual processes increased the
likelihood of entering inaccurate information. However, OCIO was modifying its procedures to
eliminate manual processes to improve the accuracy and consistency of IT investment financial
information reported on the Dashboard.

                               METHODOLOGY AND SCOPE

To address our objective, we reviewed background information, which included applicable laws
and regulations, U.S. Government Accountability Office reports on the Dashboard, OMB
memorandums, OCIO information, and HUD and Federal policies and procedures on the
processes for reporting information on the Dashboard. We compared HUD’s major IT
investments on the Dashboard with OCIO’s IT investment summary tables and spreadsheets.
We distributed a questionnaire and obtained responses from HUD staff involved with the
eCPIC program and the Dashboard. Respondents provided input on their duties, their

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                               Visit the Office of Inspector General Website at www.hudoig.gov
involvement with eCPIC and the Dashboard, the available guidance detailing responsibilities,
the training they received, and their working relationship with personnel involved in the
process. Based on answers to the questionnaire, we conducted follow-up interviews to confirm
our understanding of OCIO’s processes and procedures. We met with the Director of OCIO’s
Investment Management Division (IMD), the Director of OCIO’s Enterprise Program
Management Division (EPMD), and the IMD contract team that uploaded IT investment
information to the Dashboard. The scope of the evaluation was generally from October 1, 2013
through December 31, 2014. We performed the evaluation in accordance with the Council of
the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency’s Quality Standards for Inspection and


On June 1, 2009, the Obama Administration launched the Dashboard which gave Federal agencies
and the public the ability to view the details and track the progress of Federal technology
investments online. The Dashboard displays data from agency Exhibit 53 and Exhibit 300 reports 1,
including general information on more than 7,000 Federal IT investments and detailed data on more
than 700 investments that agencies classify as "major" investments. Agency chief information
officers are responsible for evaluating and updating specific data regularly through interfaces
provided by the Dashboard. OMB developed the Dashboard for government agencies to make
information available on the efficiency and effectiveness of government IT projects and to support
decisions regarding the investment and management of resources. The Administration and
Congress use the investment information to make budget and policy decisions.

                                 PRELIMINARY RESEARCH RESULTS

Project managers did not consistently follow processes when they reported IT financial information
for the Dashboard. We asked OCIO to identify points of contact that entered IT financial
information into eCPIC or the Dashboard and OCIO provided three lists. The lists included
personnel who were not involved with eCPIC or the Dashboard. Of 38 points of contact who
received our request to complete a questionnaire, only 10 responded. Therefore, we were unable to
identify all parties with IT investment roles or individuals who could have provided information
that we needed.

OCIO has written guidance and has used an informal process to report IT financial information in
eCPIC and on the Dashboard. IMD’s Director identified the “Federal IT Dashboard Monthly
Process: End-User Procedures” as the written guidance that project managers followed to update IT
investments monthly. The guidance identified the specific components that must be updated for
OMB to accept the monthly electronic submissions. However, it was not dated, nor had it been
formally approved or signed by a HUD official authorizing its use. We asked whether project
managers followed the “Federal IT Dashboard Monthly Process: End-User Procedures.” Only 1 of

 Exhibit 53 and Exhibit 300s are forms used to collect information allowing the agency and OMB to review and
evaluate each agency's IT spending and to compare IT spending across the Federal Government. Exhibit 53 is a report
of all agency major and non-major IT investments. Exhibit 300 describes the justification, planning, and
implementation of an individual capital asset included in the agency IT investment portfolio (as reported in Exhibit 53)
and serves as a key artifact of the agency’s enterprise architecture and IT capital planning and investment control
the 10 respondents acknowledged that he or she knew of and followed this guidance. Six
respondents followed the OCIO guidance inconsistently or were unaware that the procedures
existed. The remaining three respondents were not involved with eCPIC or the Dashboard.
Inconsistent use of the guidance could result in reporting inaccurate numbers.

The Dashboard contained eight major HUD IT investments. Early in our review, we requested that
an OCIO representative familiar with uploading IT investment information to the Dashboard guide
us through the process, but our request went unanswered. We found that project managers reported
IT investment information for Exhibit 300s using a number of data sources in Excel spreadsheets.
Then, the IMD contractors uploaded the data to the Dashboard. We requested the Exhibit 300s for
all of the major IT investments on the Dashboard, but the IMD contractors provided Exhibit 300s
for only six of the eight HUD major IT investments. The contractors did not provide Exhibit 300s
for the housing assistance management or human resources automated services investments. In
addition, Exhibit 300s for two investments reported on the Dashboard (homeownership finances and
infrastructure and system monitoring support) did not include project financial information, only
metric information.

We reviewed the tables in the six major IT investments’ Exhibit 300s supporting the September
2014 submissions. For each investment, table B.2 contained the planned costs for each project
reported on the Dashboard, and table C.1.A contained the metrics for each project reported on the
Dashboard. We could only reconcile two of the six investment amounts reported on the Dashboard
with the numbers in table B.2. However, we were able to reconcile the metrics for all six amounts
reported on the Dashboard with the numbers in table C.1A.

Before the start of our review, OCIO was reorganizing its office structure to address issues such as
inaccurate and inconsistent reporting of IT financial information on eCPIC and the Dashboard.
IMD’s Director explained that OCIO was transitioning to HUDPlus, an automated process that
allows project managers to enter IT investment information directly into eCPIC rather than using
manual processes. In addition, EPMD was implementing a new process using project health
assessments to ensure that project managers provided accurate IT financial information. EPMD
was developing guidance and training for project managers so they could consistently complete
Exhibit 300s. The guidance and training materials will be available on the OCIO’s SharePoint site.

After implementation, OIG will evaluate the process to assess the accuracy of information reported
on the Dashboard.

We provided the draft memorandum to OCIO for comment and OCIO had no comments.

CC:    David Montoya, HUD Inspector General
       Helen Albert, HUD Deputy Inspector General
       Kevin Cooke, Deputy Chief Information Officer
       Michelle Gaston, Director, OCIO’s Investment Management Division
       Nathan Merritt, Director, OCIO’s Enterprise Program Management Division
       Janice Ausby, Deputy Chief Information Officer, Business and Information Technology
                     Resource Management
       Tony Orza, Office of General Counsel
Robert Greenblum, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Secretary
Dom McCoy, Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations
Jerry Brown, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
Michael Adams, Transparency and Oversight Officer